Monday, May 6, 2019

2019 Leech Lake Fishing Opener Forecast

Well, things are shaping up nicely for the MN fishing opener here on Leech Lake. With decent weather and temps forecast for this week, we should see water temps approaching 50 degrees for opening day. Walleyes will likely be finishing up their spawning rituals later this week, so the careful handling of larger females is good practice.

Major main lake points and adjacent flats are typically good areas to check, depths of 5'-12' are typically most productive. If this isn't working, try moving to the shallow, warmer water at the north end of the lake where baitfish and walleyes often congregate on 5'-10' flats. I like to avoid the crowds and find fish that haven't been bothered as much. If you have side-imaging, you can often key in on these spooky fish much quicker, and make long casts in this cold, clear water. Pitching 1/8 oz jig and minnow combos is the classic technique, but soft plastics and even hard baits can produce well too.

Crappies can be a nice bonus this time of year, and many slab crappies have already been caught all the way around the shallow perimeter of Leech Lake this spring. We are seeing crappies staging in deeper water during the cooler mornings lately. If you have side-imaging, you can locate these fish a bit faster. Later in the afternoons, try the shallow shorelines and pencil reeds in 3-5 feet of water for these favorites. We typically harvest a couple of nice crappies per person, and release the rest for future generations. Wow will they put a smile on your face!

Have a safe and fun opener everyone, we'll see you out there!

Cheers and hook-sets,
Capt. Phil Bauerly

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