Tis the season for open water, especially on our border water rivers where the laws allow walleye fishing throughout the year and extended periods into the spring! While mother nature is loosening her grip on the North, most lakes are still covered with many inches of ice. Looking for an open water fix, take time to check out the river options that exist in Minnesota. From the Rainy River that separates us from Canada to the Mississippi and St Croix rivers, that prevent Packers fans from invading, there are plenty of options. Read on to get some great advice from Kruger Farms Pro Dusty Minke for some timely early season tactics.
Vertical jigging is an easy tactic and works at all of these locations. I like to make sure that I do some homework before leaving town making sure I know what minnows so I match the local forage. Also, I am reading recent reports to see what areas of the river are reported to have fish. I am looking at conditions water levels, water clarity, temps, all of these factors will come into play when fishing river. Most importantly when I get there I also want do some experimenting of my own. I will try live bait, plastics, switch jig colors, looking for that perfect combination that puts fish in the boat. Another good Vertical jigging tip is to make sure you have the right sized jigs for the amount of current flow. Even though my personal preference is to fish with smaller jigs, that makes no difference. In the river, it is more important that I am vertical and I have to use the proper amount of weight to get myself straight to the bottom and maintain that vertical profile. Don’t be afraid to use heavy ¾ oz or even 1 oz jigs to get yourself in the strike zone for slipping down current. When looking for a place to start, basically I look for the warmest water with the current moving. It can be a little like Goldilocks’ dilemma, not too much current, not too little, looking for that area that is just right! Too much current tends to be tough to fish and stay away from no current slack water areas, you want your boat to be sliding downstream.