Minnesota Spring Fishing Tips

April 9, 2017

Minnesota Spring Fishing Tips

Since the lakes around Minnesota Northwoods are among the last ones in the country to thaw, we’ve only got one thing on our minds. FISHING, of course! Spring is one of the best times of the year to fish for most species. Fish work up a big appetite following the long winter and rigors of spring spawning. Also, most of their natural food sources have been depleted throughout the winter and other sources like insects aren’t around yet. Follow our spring fishing tips for before and after Minnesota fishing opener and you’ll be on your way to hooking a keeper!

Prior to Fishing Opener 
As soon as we’re able, we head to the water to fish for panfish like crappie, bluegill and perch until Minnesota fishing opener allows us to fish for trophy walleye, bass, northern and muskie. In April, yellow perch are slowly emerging from weedy bays where they spawn. You’ll have the most luck in 6-8 feet of water with a simple jig and minnows. Crappies can be found in shallow depths this time of year too, and tend to gravitate to stumps, riprap banks and docks, fairly close to the lake’s banks.

After Minnesota Fishing Opener 
Once Minnesota fishing opener hits, there will be many more anglers on the lake mostly competing for the coveted walleye. To maximize your chances of catching your limit of Minnesota’s state fish, it’s going to remain important to think shallow. Every lake is different but spring walleye fishing in Minnesota is successful in depths ranging from 6-18 feet. Plenty of early anglers even have success catching walleye off the dock or from shore at night. River mouths, areas with current, and rocky shorelines with emerging weedlines are good locations to fish. Check out this helpful equipment list to help you properly prepare for spring walleye fishing.

Whatever species you’re angling for, some overall good tips to keep in mind for Minnesota spring fishing are as follows: 

1. Think Shallow.
2. Change it up. If you’re not catching anything after a while, change up your bait, techniques, boat speed, presentation, depth range, rigs and jigs. What works for one walleye doesn’t work for them all.
3. Bundle up. Spring in Minnesota is unpredictable at best and out on the lake you’ll be more susceptible to chilly wind and spray from big waves. Waterproof and windproof gear is a good bet.
4. Be Patient and think slow. The water is cold, the fish have just finished spawning and aren’t moving very fast, so neither should your bait.

Here’s wishing you and yours a successful season of spring fishing in Minnesota!


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