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Minnesota opener: Slow going on Reno Saturday morning

Alexandria anglers (left to right) Garett Vliem, Norris Vliem and Hannah Tiemann hold up the three walleyes they were able to catch on Lake Reno during the opening morning of Minnesota's walleye and pike opener. (Eric Morken | Echo Press)1 / 2
Boats fish on an area not far from the north access on Lake Reno at about 11 a.m. on Saturday morning's fishing opener. (Eric Morken | Echo Press)2 / 2

Anglers didn’t have to battle any wind or rain during Minnesota’s fishing opener this morning. If anything, many were wishing for a little more cloud cover.

Temperatures were nearing 80 degrees under sunny skies in the Alexandria area by late morning, and the bite wasn’t near as hot for a handful of anglers on Lake Reno. The body of water is one of the more popular fisheries in the area, but those coming off around 11 a.m. on Saturday were having a tough time figuring out where to find walleyes.

“No action at all,” Alexandria’s Kurt Lundebrek said. “I don’t know. I have no theories. This whole spring has been just nothing. I haven’t been doing good.”

Lundebrek fishes the lake a lot throughout the season and said it’s unusual to see things so slow.

“It’s a good lake,” Lundebrek said. “They just weren’t there. I don’t know what’s going on. Overcast is always better. I can’t understand, though. I thought we should be doing pretty good in the spring at this time.”

Anglers were reporting water temperatures on Reno at about 58 degrees. That’s a little warmer than normal, they said, after an early ice out this spring.

Lundebrek tried finding walleyes with Lindy Rigs in anywhere from six to 17 feet of water.

Klem Schee of St. Michael had a similar report after getting out on the water at about 5:30 Saturday morning. A rock bass and a dead battery on his boat were all he had to show for his efforts.

“I was expecting it would be better than this,” Schee said. “There were no nets coming out. I don’t know. It was really calm and bright. Maybe we’re fishing too shallow.”

Hannah Tiemann and Norris and Garett Vliem of Alexandria left with three walleyes in the livewell, but they too noted a much tougher bite than they were expecting.

“Slow bite,” Garett said. “Not a lot of people were catching them out there. You could see that. I think if anything, we might have caught the most.”

The group fished Lindy Rigs tipped with leeches, nightcrawlers and minnows in water depths from 14-26 feet. The Vliems fish Reno a lot throughout the year and said they would be back out there later in the day to see if they could change their luck.

“I think they’ll bite better at night,” Norris said. “Windy with some overcast would have been better (conditions).”

That last part was up for debate in the boat.

“I like it,” Tiemann said. “It’s perfect.”

All of them could agree that a day on the lake is never a bad day. It’s fishing opener in Minnesota, and that’s a step in the right direction.

“The fish are a bonus,” Tiemann said.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

(320) 763-1229
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