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Northland Outdoors: Chasing early-season walleyes on the big water

Shortly after ice-out, huge numbers of walleye migrate from their open-water wintering areas to spawn near warmer water from the rivers feeding Green Bay, an arm of Lake Michigan just a handful of hours east of Minnesota.

Northland Outdoors Episode 43 sun reflection
The sun reflects off of Green Bay as Chad Koel of Northland Outdoors spends time hunting trophy walleye.
Chad Koel / Northland Outdoors
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In this episode of Northland Outdoors, Chad Koel heads to Lake Michigan's Green Bay to explore pre-fishing opener opportunities and enjoy fast-action fishing for trophy walleye.

"The bay of Green Bay is a walleye factory that from late March on, is a walleye fishing destination that should not be overlooked, Koel says.

Recently, he met up with friends to enjoy another great day on the big water.

Shortly after ice-out, huge numbers of walleye migrate from their open-water wintering areas to spawn near warmer water from the rivers feeding the lake, says Koel, who shares his go-to lure in pursuit of big fish.

Northland Outdoors Episode 43 large walleye
Large walleye can make a trip to Green Bay, a Lake Michigan bonanza for fisherman.
Chad Koel / Northland Outdoors
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Northland Outdoors Episode 43 walleye close-up
Hunting large walleye is the primary objective in an early-season fishing excursion to Lake Michigan's Green Bay.
Chad Koel / Northland Outdoors

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What to read next
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The ‘Keep It Clean’ campaign started at Lake of the Woods. More recently, Upper and Lower Red Lake, Mille Lacs Lake, Lake Vermilion and the Fairmont Chain of Lakes came on board.
Catch rates of channel catfish and walleyes were considerably higher than previous surveys.
Snow Friday will be followed by some chilly temperatures