Walleyes biting consistently in Minnesota

By BILL SHERCK

Whadda ya say besides, “Whadda Walleye Spring!” Seems the fish have been biting non-stop since opener four weekends ago. We started the open season in the Brainerd Lakes Area of Minnesota. Fish were biting well on spot-tail shiners on Lindys or Northland Fireballs. Rapala’s new Clackin’ Minnows have been the trick trolling at sunset on the flats.

Heck, even my 3 1/2-year-old got in on the action. Way to go Brady!

Two weeks ago I spent a week up in Canada, at Kabeelo Lodge, and, of course, we caught more walleyes than we could count. Up there, I LOVE the jig bite on a Fireball tipped with either minnows or Northland’s Impulse shad patterns. The other favorite of mine is draggin’ #9 Rapala Shad Raps. Boom! Fish on!

The last two weeks, the absolute hot bite, without question, has been on Mille Lacs Lake. We’ve been up there every free moment catching amazing numbers of walleyes. The good news? They’re biting. The bad news? They’re biting. See, I’m convinced the bait fish are not in Mille Lacs and the walleyes are getting kind of desperate. They’re acting like they’re willing to eat about anything.

For us, Two techniques have worked unusually well. First, Lindys tipped with leeches. I’ve been focusing on 20-30 feet of water on the edges of the flats. The other has been a newer technique called slow death. Ever heard of it? Essentially, you rig a bottom bouncer (my choice is a 1-2 oz Northland Slick Stick) with a 10-foot snell tipped with a slow death hook. They’re odd shaped hooks that you thread smaller nightcrawlers onto.

As that rig drags through the water, the shaped hook makes the crawler corckscrew. One tip: don’t hang giant crawlers. I’ll nip the tag end of the crawler to keep it no more than six inches long.

The walleyes LOVE it! So did our guests last week. Fellow Rapid Marine/Lund Pro Perry Good and I took Rapid Marine dream trip winners Doug Meyenburg and his buddy Jerry Hobbs out to Mille Lacs to teach them slow death.

By lunchtime, Doug was absolutely blown away. He’d caught so many walleyes they’d eaten right through his red, slow-death hook!

Sunday, we were back on the lake and fishing buddy Brian Bitzan and I had the same good luck.

I think I’ve seen more BIG walleyes this spring than any other I can remember. That is a good thing! How about you? Next time your walleye bite goes cold, try a slow-death rig.

Something different to wake up the fish! Up next, The Brainerd Classic! One of the region’s most popular annual tournaments. I’ll keep you posted on results!