Fish Like a Pro This Walleye Opener

1920x1080 photo of fishing pole and lake from boat at sunset
The Brainerd Lakes Area offers anglers a variety of lakes to fish on.

The walleye fishing opener is just around the corner, which is a tradition for many Minnesotans and vacationers alike. The opener often means a trip Up North for anglers to try their hand at catching walleye—the most sought-after fish in our lakes. We caught up with Justin Chromy at All-American Fishing Guide Service and Walleyedan of Walleyedan’s Guide Service to give you some fishing tips.

Man holding a walleye in a boat that he just caught with a lake at sunset in the background copy
Justin Chromy, All-American Fishing Guide Service.
Photo of man holding a walleye in a boat with a lake and shoreline in the background
Walleyedan, Walleyedan’s Guide Service

Late Ice Out Effects

“This will be one of the latest ice-outs we’ve had in quite some time, and it certainly will play a role in how to approach the elusive walleye,” said Walleyedan. “We are approximately 2 weeks or behind the normal spawning season,” Walleyedan said.

Justin Chromy, owner and guide of  All-American Fishing Guide Service believes the walleyes will be hungry come opener. “The late ice out will have a positive impact on fishing,” said Justin.

Walleye Bite

There are a variety of techniques anglers can use to hook a walleye. Anglers can try jigs, minnows live bait rigs, crank baits, and others.  Justin’s preferred bait? “I’m a sucker for the jig and shiner bite in the spring,” he says. “For the average angler, I’d say the jig and shiner is your best bet for success.” 

“Casting light (1/16 oz) jigs with minnows, swim baits, crank baits, rippin’ raps and jiggin’ raps will all produce. Trolling with a lot of line behind the boat will do the trick, too,” Walleyedan says. He recommends giving the bait some movement—even though slow is the way to go for cold weather walleyes. Walleyedan also thinks night fishing will be good, if you have the proper equipment. A good headlight is key!

Fish Shallow

If you’re searching for walleyes early in the season, seek shallow water. “Shallow is going to be the ticket. And when I say shallow, I’m thinking less than 7 ft of water,” Walleyedan says.

Justin recommends 5 to 15 ft of water. “I don’t anticipate fish being much deeper unless the sun is high in the sky,” Justin says.

To Fish with a Pro

If you lack some of the necessary fishing gear and are unsure of how to fish our lakes, hire a guide! Our guides are knowledgeable, professional. And they’re ready to give you an incredible day on the water hooking fish. Just bring yourself, some snacks, and your fishing license. They’ll do the rest!

Walleyedan reminds anglers to be respectful, smart, and release the big ones!

1920x1280 photo from Camp Holiday Resort & Campground showing children fishing off of dock on a summer day
Photo Courtesy Camp Holiday Resort and Campground
Square Photo of a dad and daughter fishing off a dock at Craguns Resort with a rainbow in the background
Photo courtesy Cragun's Resort.

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