Us northern anglers are finally rejoicing and celebrating even with the Coronavirus news; OPEN WATER IS HERE!!! This is the time of year you definitely want to break the boat out and get out there. Hungry Smallies, Northerns, and Walleye will be feeding heavily for the next couple of weeks. This year, the open water came a touch early as we have had above average temperatures but none the less fishing is going to be very very good. Armed with the top Yo-Zuri hardbaits and St. Croix rods; the fish do not stand a chance against me!
It is still considered winter throughout most of the country, but the warmer temperatures has spring in the air. With the open water happening the fish are typically not too picky in what you throw at them. Obviously I love bass fishing but this is the time of year to stock pile on some quality eating fish, and those are walleyes. The beauty of walleye fishing this time of year is they are the most aggressive fish out there. Normally they are not picky at all in what you throw at them, but I have seen very good results in sticking to darker colors that are following the perch and crawfish patterns. This will be what the Walleyes are feeding on mostly right now. For this I really like Acid Perch, Hot Perch, and Green Perch patterns offered by Yo-Zuri in the Crystal Minnow Deep Diver Walleye.
Typically in the late Winter and early Spring trolling is the key to catching aggressive walleyes, the reason for this is they are heavily in hunting mode and will be constantly on the move. Therefore I like to troll to cover as much water as possible and find that aggressive school of walleyes. With the Crystal Minnow Deep Diver Walleye it is a very good trolling bait and will get down deeper depths depending on the trolling speed. Slower speeds will allow the bait to dive deeper and faster speeds will keep the bait higher in the water column. This is where it is key to have good electronics on your boat because once you can locate schools of bait and/or schools of walleyes (which typically are not too far from bait) you will know the depth you need to get your lure and adjust your trolling speed accordingly.
The rod and reel setup I prefer is a 7′ Medium/Fast action St. Croix Legend tournament series spinning rod with a 2500 series spinning reel. I will spool my reels with 15lb Yo-Zuri SuperBraid and run a 10lb TopKnot fluorocarbon leader. One tip I will give anglers is keep you drag loose that way when you get a bite the fish can take the line off the reel but there is still enough tension on the line to get them hooked. You want them to be able to strip a little drag because lighter line will allow the bait to diver deep depths, and with already trolling for them you don’t want to risk breaking your line.
As I always suggest and often see in the fishing I like to do, this is a great opportunity to get kids, family, and friends out on the water to make memories that last forever. Also, the more people you have out there the more fillets to add to the grease at the end of the day. Be safe out there my friends!