May 13, 2010 at 9:09 a.m.

Walleyes could be eager to bite

Walleyes could be eager to bite
Walleyes could be eager to bite

This year's late walleye opener might present some unique opportunities to anglers across the state. With early ice-out dates and balmy April temperatures, the walleyes are definitely in a post-post spawn mood. In other words, the typical post-spawn lethargy is over and walleyes should be hot to feed.

With the 2010 opener as close to Memorial Day as it has been to the first of May other years it might be wise to expand your arsenal beyond a jig and minnow. Some anglers I've spoken with are anxious to try some late spring and early summer tactics, to include spinners rigged with leeches or crawlers. Of course, the mainstays during the month of May will always be a jig and minnow, along with slip bobbers. Water temperatures are still quite low, so keep that in mind in regard to presentation. If you can manage to effectively control your drift, I'd still recommend a light jig tipped with a shiner or chub as a first course of action..

We've all heard that bait presentations during the spring of the year should be slow, and in large part, I readily agree with that school of thought. A jig and minnow presentation should definitely be on the slower side, and if given a choice, I'd fish the lightest jig with the slowest fall-rate I could get away with using. If the shallower water doesn't readily produce a fish or two, look to the sharper adjacent drop-offs that transition into the lake's deeper water. The walleyes might be hanging right on the break-line.

Light penetration is another critical factor. Even clear water that is a mere six feet deep can darken under a wavy surface that refracts light. Walleyes are low-light feeders, and will readily cruise and occupy shallow shorelines and sunken points on bright sunshine days if waves are present. With the fact that we're halfway through May, give some consideration to throwing shallow-running crankbaits up onto those windswept shorelines.

A lot of anglers out there are quite confident this year's opener could be a very good one and I'm one of them. The early ice-out dates and a later opener could be the ideal combination, so the opener might be one that you don't want to miss.

The best of luck to all of you out there on the lakes, and please be safe.

If you have comments for Dan or story ideas contact him at e-mail [email protected].

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