I will be fishing Otter Tail Lake on the opener with my good friend and fishing partner Phil Jensen and his family. There is a ton of work getting the boat, tackle, rods, reels etc. ready, but the anticipation of that first hook set and that flash of a white tipped tail means only one thing, fresh walleye fillets for lunch on Mother’s Day!
Here are a couple of tips and tricks for catching a fresh meal of walleye this weekend. I’m going to be using a spottail shiner and a light jig in either 1/16th or 1/8th OZ size or will use a rigging system with a 2 to 4 foot leader. I would start probing in 8 to 10 feet of water on the shoreline breaks and the sand flats. When using a jig I like to troll at about half to one mile per hour. Flip about 75 ft of line behind the boat and give that jig a few twitches and a snap of the rod to make that shiner minnow flash, appear injured, and nothing more then an easy meal. Trust me, if old marble eye is present, they can’t resist a spottail shiner. After all, a spottial shiner to a walleye is like a piece of chocolate cake after a big meal, you still want to eat it even when you are full. When it comes to picking out a fishing rod for jigging you can’t beat a 7 ft medium action fast tip rod spooled with either 6 or 8 lb test. This combination can be used for jigging, casting, or rigging and truly is an all purpose set up. When rigging, remember to use a quality swivel between your main line and leader. For leader material use 6lb fluorocarbon for the extra money it costs you won’t be disappointed as this line is nearly invisible in the water.
With warmer water temps this spring and the walleye spawn behind us you should find plenty active fish both shallow and on the shoreline breaks. Locate schools of baitfish like the shiner minnow or new emerging vegetation and you can bet on the fact that Mr & Mrs Walleye will be very close by.
On Friday, May 8th PT’s Guide Service will have their annual live broadcast on Lakes Radio 99.5 KPRW from 5 to 7 pm from downtown New York Mills at Vaughn’s Auto & Marine. Our special guests will be non other than Mr. Walleye himself Gary Roach and his nephew professional fishing guide Tony Roach. Tune in as we talk about fishing tips and tricks for catching walleye on the greatest opening day of the year, the Minnesota Walleye opener.
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