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Walleye Opener

May 18, 2009 - Ron Deuter
Cold and windy conditions with the occasional snow flurry didn’t stop me from participating in this past weekend’s walleye opener. Dressed more for an ice-fishing trip, I headed out late Saturday afternoon with a buddy on his boat. We chose an upstream local, figuring we’d find fish in shallow water since water temps are still rather cold. Finding a suitable spot was not a problem, but trying to anchor proved challenging with the persistent wind gusts. Luckily our anchors managed to snag bottom and hold us from blowing into shore. We sat in about 12 feet of water and were within casting distance of a weedy point with a quick drop-off. We each set-up one pole for jigging, while using another rod with slip bobbers. I set my slip-knot at about six feet and threw toward the point, reeling in a bit until the bobber stood up. I was rigged with nothing more than a plain No. 6 hook and a leech. My line was six-pound test, and I added a couple of split-shots right above the swivel. During our first hour, my buddy reeled in four non-keeper walleye - all in the 14-inch range. Hour two was my turn, as I brought in two fish, both measuring nearly 16 inches. While active, the fish definitely were not hitting hard. Only my second fish grabbed hard enough to completely sink my bobber. The first fish just sort of snagged on and swam off slowly. I could tell the bobber was moving because of a fish, so I slowly reeled in my slack, waited a few more seconds and set the hook. Even though we ended up catching a few more fish before dark, my two were the only keepers.


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