Today was the Minnesota fishing opener, it was a normal, cold and wet, opener. At least no snow and not too much wind.
My son asked to go fishing and nothing is better than sharing our love for fishing with kids. So my son, his buddy and I headed out fishing on a small area lake. I picked a spot with plenty of panfish and pike, hoping to get them a lot of fish and some great action.
On the way to the lake, we stopped for bait and munchies. You can't get kids to sit in a boat for hours without food, so plan for it and make the entire time and trip fun.
After getting to the lake, we started by checking the shallows for crappies and bluegills and only landed one perch. We tried pitching spinnerbaits for pike, but only caught a couple and several bass. We then moved on to see if the pike were interested in biting something trolled. We started to catch pike within minutes. So off to trolling we went.
Since the pike were shallow, in 5-9 feet of water on the best and only thick weeds, we started with spinnerbaits. This allowed me to vary the speed of the boat and get the spinners just above and in the tops of the only weeds in the lake and draw the pike out to strike our baits.
With pike I always start with at least some white on one and run several combinations. I think they just love spinnerbaits, whites, yellows, and reds get their attention. It worked great and we caught over 30 decent pike, the longest being over 30 inches long, and several couples.
Since it's still cold and early in the year, we trolled slower than other times, going from 1.9 to 2.4 mph and zig zagging. Keep track of the rod the fish hit, if it's on the inside of the turn, it's going slower, if on the outside it's faster. If you see a pattern where all the bites are on the slower line, then slow down. If it's even between the two lines, then you are at the right speed.
By the end of the day, the kids had had a blast and we ended well before dark to keep it fun.
Note that when you take kids fishing, we plan for it to be fun for them from start to finish. We started by making sure we had food to eat and pop to drink, we planned for a good bite and caught fish, then ended before they got bored. With kids you need to make it all about them having fun. So we had a successful day.
I hope you all had a great day fishing and please plan to get at least one kid out fishing this year. We need to pass on our love of fishing and the outdoors onto the next generation.
Good fishing and see ya on the water.
Minnesota Fishing Guide .com