Kicking off a season
The first week of the 2011 Minnesota open-water fishing season (for walleye and northern) was a good one. Lots of interesting people, some nice walleyes (northerns, crappies, sunfish, perch and bass, too), some sunburn, a few different bodies of water, one terribly slow (and long) day, trying to dial-in the system for speeding up aquatic invasive species inspections and, finally, a season pass to the Corp. of Engineers boat landing.
The boat landing situation is going to be challenging for some for a while. If you are heading to the lake from your home, it is OK to have minnows in your bait well, but if you are heading off the water, you must have a way to transfer that bait over to fresh water. I’ve been carrying a cooler in the back of my truck with cold water, and when I get my boat loaded on the trailer, I scoop some of that fresh well water from the cooler and put it in an aerated bucket and then transfer my minnows.
Then it’s time to drain the bait well, live well, check for weeds on the trailer and put your fish on ice. You may have a better system, but the bottom line is that this will slow things down a bit at the landings. Keep this in mind as you work your way through the season.