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2018 Minnesota Fishing Opener Outlook

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Though we had our concerns over the last 30 days, we can safely say that fishing opener will not be requiring an ice auger and ice rod! All the area lakes are now ice free except for Leech Lake last we heard, and Leech is looking optimistic for opener as well!

It is however looking like bait is going to be an issue this year for a combination of reasons. With the increase of aquatic invasive species awareness and prevention, many of the normal Spot Tail Shiner trapping waters are off-limits. With the decrease in available waters, and many trappers having to rely on the slower warming big lakes to get there shiners they may not be trapping before Saturday. Though we are hopeful to see a few before the weekend, we're anticipating very few shiners being available. With a low minnow supply, the demand on the rainbows and big fatheads will be pretty heavy, so minnows could be a rare commodity this year.

Fishing should be great, though in a little different pattern than most openers! Many crappie fisherman have reported picking up incidental walleye up on the shallow edges where they're finding crappie. Shallow water fishing should be the name of the game this year. Long line lighter jigs and/or swim them off the breaklines. Also, don't rule out cranking some stick baits/Rapala cranks on those shallow edges, particularly in the evenings and early mornings. This year might be the year of the artificial!

Mr. Walleye (Gary Roach) will be here Friday, so be sure to stop in and say high. Also he might be able to give you some early cold water walleye pointers to put some fish in the net. All in all, we're expected a good opener this year, and we're glad there will be no ice fishing!


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