Walleye win fish opener: They were tough to catchIt was a slow start to the opening of this year’s fishing season. Weather may have played a factor in the not-so-hot opener.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
It was a slow start to the opening of this year’s fishing season.
Weather may have played a factor in the not-so-hot opener. Temperatures on Saturday were in the low 50s and on Sunday, although the sun found its way out, temperatures didn’t reach 60 degrees. Temperatures throughout the weekend maintained in the mid to high 50s.
Normal temperatures for this time of year are closer to the mid 60s, according to accuweather.com. Current water temperatures on many area lakes are holding steady around 50 degrees, although it can vary day-to-day.
Anglers in search of the elusive walleye had their work cut out for them this weekend.
“It sounds like it was a fair opener – not great, but not terrible either,” said Josh Kapaun from The General Store in Osakis.
He said many anglers had better luck fishing in the evening, after 6 p.m., than they did trolling the lakes during the day.
According to Kapaun, many of the walleye were found in the five-feet or less range and many walleye were caught using shad raps. He noted that bobber fishermen had pretty good luck, as well.
Fishing might be heating up in the next couple of weeks, thought Kapaun, although he said, “It’s hard to say for sure.”
Anglers should focus on the shallower waters and the weedlines. In addition, rock piles or bumps might be the place to look, he said.
Anglers looking to catch sunfish and crappies might want to bring some waxworms and/or crappie minnows with them, as Kapaun said that’s what this species of fish is biting on.
He also said, “It’s been a tough year on crappies,” in that they haven’t really been producing this year.
Anglers are, however, having better luck finding crappies in creeks and channels than they are on bigger lakes.
There were eight entries submitted for the first week of the Vacationer’s “Catch of the Week” contest. The biggest walleye, a 6-pound, 10-ouncer, was reeled in by Duane Rostad of Alexandria. He netted the winning fish on May 10 on Lake Carlos using a Rapala.
The Vacationer is a free, weekly publication of the Echo Press, which runs during the summer months.
For those who aren’t familiar with the weekly fishing contest, here’s how it works: each week there will be a winner in each fish category, in both the senior and junior divisions. These winners will then go on to compete with contenders from previous weeks’ entries for the ongoing season winner’s title. The contest will run through Labor Day.
Fish can be entered at Christopherson’s Bait in Alexandria.
Here are the first week’s results:
Large and smallmouth Bass
The season for bass is not yet open. Bass fishing opener is on May 23. Entries for bass will then be accepted.
The first week’s winner is Grace Doraska of Alexandria. She reeled in a 5-pound northern on May 9 from Grant Lake using a minnow in about 12 feet of water.
Large and smallmouth Bass
Bass season is not yet open. When the season opens on May 23, anglers are welcome to enter their bass.
This year’s first weekly winner in the crappie category is Gary Westphal of Alexandria. He caught a 1-pound, 11-ounce crappie on Fish Lake with a minnow in about eight feet of water.
The winner for this week is James Sueker of St. Louis Park with a 6-pound, 2-ounce northern. He caught the fish on Lobster Lake with a minnow in about six feet of water.
Duane Rostad of Alexandria reeled in the first weekly winner in the walleye category. He caught his 6-pound, 10-ounce walleye from Lake Carlos on May 10 using a Rapala in about 12 feet of water.