Thursday, May 29, 2008

Minnesota Opener at Leech Lake

Since 1990 I have been fishing the Minnesota Opener at Leech Lake with my friends from Team Walleye ( This year Team Walleye celebrated it's 35th anniversary at Leech. The majority of those years have been at Brindley's Harbor Resort ( Conditions on Leech have ranged from 80 degrees and bluebird skies to substantial ice on the lake, which was the case this year. Fishing has been somewhat slow the last couple of years however the average size has been impressive. 2008 turned out to be the most memorable in the 35 years of opening on Leech. 6 boats/16 guys caught a total of 178 walleyes for the weekend, the most ever. What was even more impressive was the overall size. We shattered all past catch history with the top 3 fish measuring 27, 27.25, and 27.50 inches. These fish were heavy, eclipsing the previous big fish award by over 2 1/2 lbs. My team did well with a total of 54 walleyes caught, top individual points award, and 2nd place in the big fish contest.
The picture is me with a 27.25" pig. Shiners were the bait of choice, the bigger the better. Water temps were 37 to 39 degrees and I believe that the big females had not yet spawned as evidence by the walleye eggs found in the boat. On the last day we finally figured out the need for a trailer hook on our jigs and our hooking success increased substantially.