Ah, opening day! This Saturday May 15, 2021! Memories abound of past years. The excited anticipation. Checking tackle, reading articles, purchasing new tackle. As a kid, my brother and I would camp out on the banks of a nearby crick the evening before opener rain or shine. We would be so excited that we would stay up all night and once that ‘ol clock struck midnight, BAM! Lines were wet.
Based on the late season trophy walleye that were caught, this opener will produce not only good numbers of keepers but also more big walleye. The bag limit is remaining the same this season with 6 fish. Not more than 4 can be walleye and only 1 walleye over 28”. The slot also remains the same. Walleye caught that are 19.5” through 28” must be immediately released.
The walleye have not quite made the migration back out into the big water and will be staging near the mouth. Fishing will mainly be targeted on the Rainy River, 4 Mile Bay and in the gap. Some will head out in front of Pine Island. All the natural Lake of The Woods go-to rigs, jigs and bait will be the ticket until a pattern is found. Brightly colored jig heads tipped with a minnow would be best to start with. If you are fishing near the mouth of the Rainy, in and around 4 Mile Bay and out in front of Pine Island I personally would try a brightly colored spinner harness with a nightcrawler or minnow.
I make my own spinner rigs with stacked clear (but shiny) beads behind the blade. In the center of those beads, I place a big red bead. The blade will spin around that to create a “flash” which always grabs the attention of those larger fish. Pro-tip, if you’re using the spinner rig, cast horizontal to the drift. Once the drift “swings” the rig in line with the drift behind the boat, hang on! That magical swing will almost always entice a strike from a hungry walleye. The fun fact of using a spinner rig in the areas mentioned is a mixed bag of walleye, sauger, northern pike and small mouth is common. Some of the largest fish I have caught in these waters have been on that rig throughout the year. Brining that time tested and proven tactic from other inland lakes across the Great Lakes Region gives the fish a different presentation to the jigging that is most common in our area. However, never be afraid to shake it up until you find a pattern and presentation they want.
If you are heading up north to stay with us at River Bend Resort, we are happy to announce that the covid restrictions have been lifted and we are fully opened back up to our normal hours of operation. Miles Lab Bar & Grill is open daily from 6:30 AM to 1:00 AM. Breakfast is served from 6:30 AM to 11:00 AM. Lunch runs from 11:AM to 4:00 PM and our full dinner menu is available from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM. If you are a night owl and like to indulge in some suds while telling the stories of the day’s events, you can enjoy our homemade pizza from 10:00 PM ‘til close.
As with any fishing adventure, making memories is as important as the fishing itself. This year’s season will be no different. More memories will be made and of course the stories to help relive these wonderful times with friends and family will abound. We look forward to helping you make your next adventure a memory of a lifetime. Our call agents are at the ready to take your call and get you booked.
Photos are all early season spring walleye caught by River Bend Resort patrons.