"The fishing opener was slow. I think it's a combination of the late ice-out, the tough bite and the fact that the fish are still spawning right now, so they're less interested in feeding at this point. Also, the extremely cold water — we're in the low 40s for much of the lake, and I even saw some reports of 30s. You always wish you could get to 50 degrees by opener. That's kind of a magic number that increases their metabolism and increases their interest in feeding. The rainy weather we've been having hasn't helped and the fact that the ice just went out in the middle of last week. I think the best fishing is yet to come. Once the fish have a chance to mellow out after going through spawning, I think the bite will pick up from where it is now."
Rick Bruesewitz, Aitkin area fisheries supervisor for the DNR, on Lake Mille Lacs, which has a lowest-ever walleye quota this year.