Each and every Spring there are countless articles about fishing shallow on the opener for the elusive walleye. While that can be a good starting point on a variety of bodies of water, fishing "deep" water can be a life saver. What do I consider shallow or deep this time of year? Shallow 3-10ft and deep 10-30 ft.
There have been quit a few openers where we have scored nice fish in the 3-10 ft range to the point where I guess you could call it "the norm". On the other side of the coin, there have also been quit a few openers where we have tried the shallows and watch everyone catch nothing and head to the deep water nearby and end up catching limits of walleyes in a matter of a couple of hours in water depths of 20-30 ft deep. Why are the fish there? Cover, food and also as a result of tons of "new" boat traffic in the shallows.
Im not talking about fishing the mid-lake type of spots, but I'm talking the the deep water adjacent to the shallow spawning/feeding grounds that you will find most anglers utilizing--around the perimeter of the lake. Yes thats right, my boat is "out there" by itself making other anglers wonder what's going on. And since most anglers like to fish by others and in crowds--it usually stays that way. Thats what I and the fish like--peace and quiet. Nothing puts tight lips on shallow fish faster than boats and noise. So, do not be afraid to venture out into 20-30 ft of water. If nothing is being caught in the shallows--then why stay there? And the best part is, there no special tackle is needed to catch the deeper fish.
Using the same tackle--live bait Lindys or 1/8, 3/16 oz jigs tipped with a shiner minnow. What colors?-- in most clear bodies of water--blue/white combos, glow/white combos, and dont forget about flourecent green. Shiner minnows are the best bet, but also bring crawlers and small to medium leeches (forget about the jumbos). Work the bait slow on the bottom and be ready for "lighter bites" . What's also nice is that an actual school or two can be located and fished for a while--unlike in the shallows where they can move around much faster and school on a smaller basis. So give it a try--fish deep on the opener, you may be surprised! Good Luck, Capt. Josh. www.minnesotaguideservice.com