Sort of a "non-opener" for many on Mille Lacs last weekend - we started with roughly 25% of the west/south part of the lake hosting a bunch of unwelcome ice. While there were still plenty of good spots from Garrison to Malmo to Isle to get the boat wet, a number of folks opted to wait. Those who DID get out enjoyed mixed success - some struggled, others figured out that the bite was mostly shallow... REALLY shallow. Once they adjusted, it was game-on. Minnows and smaller leeches on a jig have been the ticket. The long snell and slip bobber folks caught some fish, just not as many. In all, there weren't nearly as many people around as there are on a "normal" year. Whatever that is. Northern and bass action was slow.
The ice is gone from Mille Lacs.
Most of the people we talked to found the surface temps in the low to mid 40's. That's cooler than we usually find on opening day. Some of these walleye were post-spawn, but a good number of them were right smack in the middle of doing what they do. So it stands to reason that the shallow (10-) bite could be better than the deep bite. Oddly enough, there were a lot of folks cruising along in the deeper (20+) water picking up a fish here and a fish there who WOULD NOT MOVE, because "that's where we ALWAYS fish on the opener". Memories. I have a good friend (let's call him Lucky) who is an accomplished walleye angler - especially when it comes to Mille Lacs. But sometimes (like every time Lucky is on Mille Lacs) Lucky gets to remembering how he used to smack 'em on 3-mile casting Rogues, or pound 'em on Anderson's Reef trolling Shad Raps, or even wear-out slip bobbers on Sherman's. Are these still good spots and valid techniques? Of course they are. But often, more than one condition will dictate where and when the hot walleye bite will be. Just because it's the opener doesn't mean that the fish will be in the same spot year after year. Water temperature, wind direction, spawn-status, angling pressure, cloud cover, moon phase, lake level... and an endless litany of other conditions may be minor of themselves, but when a number of them align they can TOTALLY change the "opening day bite". Or any other day of the year. That's fishing. A lot of the long faces we saw over the weekend could have been smilin' and dancin' if they would have made a few simple adjustments. Maybe this weekend.
The weather for the weekend (according to the National Weather Service) looks like this:
Friday: Sunny, with a high near 77. South southeast wind 10 to 15 mph.
Friday Night: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms, then a chance of showers after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 53. South southeast wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Saturday: A 50 percent chance of showers. Cloudy, with a high near 60. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming north northeast in the afternoon. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Saturday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 41. Northeast wind around 10 mph.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 67. Northeast wind around 10 mph.
The first quarter moon is 5-21-18.
Have a great weekend!
Lundeen's Tackle Castle
38752 Twilight Road
Onamia, MN 56359