Favorite Techniques for MN Walleye Opener

From Brian "Bro" Brosdahl

May 2016 | Max, MN Brian Brosdahl Walleye Opener

With more than a half million anglers participating in the opening day tradition, the walleye opener is a big deal in Minnesota. Anglers fishing on opening day need to pattern the walleyes quickly to figure out how deep to fish and where the best bite should be located.

I like to play the wind when I am fishing walleyes. I prefer shorelines with the wind either blowing into shore or along the shore, which usually concentrates the active walleyes on the points and turns along the shoreline. I use the Side Imaging® on my Humminbird® HELIX® 10 to run the shoreline structure in about 8-12 feet of water, and point the Side Imaging signal towards shore on the side of the boat where my transducer is located, so the Side Imaging beam is running parallel along the spot.

I set the distance on the side imaging to about 60-100 feet, so I get better detail. I am looking for several things and will mark any potential spots on GPS, so I can swing back around and fish the more promising looking areas. I am looking for edges and pockets in new emerging cabbage weeds and also for any patches of rocks that are associated with the weeds. I also watch for schools of baitfish and any schools of larger fish that might be walleyes.

The baitfish will look like clouds of little individual dots, while the larger fish cast a shadow and much easier to spot. The walleyes are usually in scattered groups when they are schooled up on the windward spots.

Northern pike will also be in many of the same areas, but they tend to be individual fish that are feeding shallow like the walleye and other game fish. Fireball jig and shiner is hard to beat pitched or drifted through these areas or casting or slow trolling cranks is a great way to cover water in search of those fish. Using your Minn Kota® Talon shallow water anchor or your Minn Kota Terrova® in Spot-Lock to hold your boat boat in place to throw and fish a slip bobber. Most of the fish that are shallow are up there for a reason - to eat! So once you catch some fish definitely work those areas and stay put. Once you find a few fish and find the right presentation and you’re sure to have a great day!

Good Luck this Walleye Opener.

We will see you on the water,

Brian "Bro" Brosdahl