Musky season has now officially opened in Minnesota. All summer seasons are in full swing for all species now. Many anglers have caught musky accidently over the last couple of weeks when fishing for walleyes, bass, or northern pike in shallow water. I had a customer have a two foot long northern pike get T-boned by a 50 inch Musky this last week. The musky wouldn’t let go and held on long enough to horse to the side of the boat to get a couple of great pictures.
Summer has come in with a roar. The holiday weekend had some of the nicest weather most of us can remember for many years. We had many visitors to our area lakes and they were busy fishing. This last week has been more like July weather. The hot days, bright sunshine, and warmer nights have warmed water temps from the 50’s last week to the high 60’s. Look for us to get back to a more normal weather pattern, and as we do, the fishing will be more consistent, especially with the walleyes. Bass opener was great for the bass fishermen, and sight fishing bass is still in play.
I have a few common sense suggestions that may help make fishing over your holiday, or anytime for that matter, be more trouble free. Nothing can detract from a vacation fishing trip like contending with equipment problems. One of the most common solvable problems starts with your fishing line. If your line is old (hold over from last year), change it. Fresh line could make the difference between a fish picture and a fish story. Take off the old line, dispose of it properly, and re-spool with new line.
Another fishing opener weekend has come and passed. The weather on Saturday was as nice as I can remember in years. Even though the air temperature was comfortable and we had sun, the “bluebird” day conditions were not helpful for walleye anglers on what was already going to be a challenging bite due to water temperatures. Most anglers around the area struggled to catch walleyes but found the northern pike and pan fish to be very active.
It is a matter of degrees. Water temperature plays a major role in what fish are doing, where they are located and why. Water temp will trigger fish migrations, staging, spawning, and feeding on seasonal bait and forage preferences. The difference of a couple degrees in an area of a lake may make the difference in the fish being where they are supposed to be or not. A change of a few degrees can stimulate bite activity, or turn the bite off.
We are setting up nicely for this year’s fishing opener that begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday May 10. We are already way ahead of last year as we now have open water.
This last week we have seen the return of increasing numbers of trumpeter swans, geese, ducks, and eagles. They are all sharing a limited amount of open water and are getting along well with each other. Their return to our area is a sure sign of spring. So is the return of many of the other birds that are enjoying my wife’s birdfeeders. They are all naturally intuitive, and know that they will have more available open water very shortly.
It would be prudent at this juncture to stay off the ice. We will upswing to a trend of warmer weather this week and the ice will deteriorate significantly. No perch, crappie, or sunfish is worth an ice cold swim. Call it quits for the ice season and start focusing on some of the open water that is currently available, and all the soon to be available open water fishing on area ponds and lakes. Rivers and creeks are open, as are some open shoreline areas, river inlets and outlets, and their delta areas.
Amazing what a difference a week can make. We have eliminated most of the snow and the snow on top of the lakes. Now the sun’s energy and the warm days can work on getting our lakes ice free. When we get rid of the snow and have more brown ground, it helps us warm more quickly and maintain more heat. The nights also stay warmer after the ground has been warmed. One of the big benefits to getting rid of our snow is also the ground warming the shoreline at the lake edges. The warm shoreline helps melt the edges of the lake.
Ice fishing will be over in Minnesota in the next week or two. For many ice fisherman, this ice season is already done. Lake of the Woods is home to the last of the diehard ice anglers and that ice season will be done on April 14. Some anglers in our area will still have a week or slightly longer to finish up there ice season on local lakes chasing pan fish or tullibees. It is time to start thinking about stowing and storing ice fishing gear and equipment. For those that have permanent fish houses or shelters, make sure you clean out the house.