2012 Minnesota Walleye Opener Results – Mille Lacs
Well, for the first time in my all of my career walleye openers, I went out and threw my first line in the water at the stroke of midnight. There were quite a few boats out there, even boats that stayed until the wee hours of the morning.
After staying out until 7 am, Koz and I decided it was time to head in and get some rest. The upper 3os with a lite wind can feel pretty cold after about 5 hours. Particularly when the fish aren’t cooperating. Here is a recap of our start.
In the first hour, we got one keeper sized walleye at 16″, but threw it back. After that, we faced a daunting mental challenge and didn’t hook into another fish for another 4 hours. The cold was definately setting in during that stretch.
Between 4-6am we got a few smaller walleyes but nothing too exciting. Our hope was too stay out long enough for the sunrise bite. When it finally started to get light out, we hooked into a few, but again, nothing too exciting. With the sun creeping up above the tree line, I finally had a good feeling fish, a 22 incher with some big old marble eyes. A smalleye and an 18″ were the other fish we got before heading in.
5 hours of sleep and we rolled out of bed to give it another shot. By this time it was getting close to 3 and there were boats everywhere. We decided to head out to the mud flats to see if there was anything to be had. We probably saw less than 10 boats on the flats, so that didn’t help our confidence in our location, but we did see one of the boats pull in a mid to upper 20 inch walleye, a great sign.
First couple of spots proved very little and then Koz set the hook with high hopes, and reeled in to see his hook had been bitten off. Not more than 2 minutes later, I felt a tug on my fireline, and I set the hook into something solid. After a couple cranks of the rod, I knew I had a nice one on and screamed for Koz to get the net. He thought it would be fine to take his sweet time, only to realize the net still needed to be extended and cleared from the mess of rods in the boat. However, he was diligent and quickly got the net ready to scoop the large walleye up. A beautiful hunch-backed 27.25″ walter, second to my personal best.
High fives ensuing, we continued around the flats in hopes of other big walters. Koz must have been bit off at least 4 times on other bites. The largest hooks we had were size 6 and I think that was the problem to his frustrations. I couldn’t buy another bite, and he was getting them at a regular pace, but with the worst luck.
We moved a few miles closer to shore to try the evening reef bobber bite, right before dark (we used the Thill Splash Brite Bobbers, and they worked awesome). I quickly hooked into a 20 incher on a jig and expected it to be a great sign. We had our bobbers go down a number of times, but didn’t manage much but a few huge rock bass and a smallie. Not wanting to give up, we headed closer to shore and caught one walleye in a couple hour’s time. Drained and unconfident, we headed in with an empty livewell.
Another night of little sleep and we felt the urge to give it our last shot a few miles up the road near Malmo. As we greeted a city of boats, we only saw one fish get caught in the 2 hours of fishing. We hadn’t gotten a bite and knew it was time to head back home.
Although the fishing wasn’t fast and furious, we did manage one pig in the boat, which made the trip for me. Not sure if the fish weren’t cooperating, or if we were in the wrong locations, but I did hear better reports on other parts of the lake. I will be giving it another shot up there soon and I will be better prepared.
How did your opener go? Leave a comment below.
Good luck fish’n
Sign up for our newsletter for more great information! Like us on Facebook! Tweet us!
My name is Brad Bolton, a husband and father of four. I live in Minnesota and I enjoy spending time in the outdoors and also spending time with my family. If there is water nearby, I want to fish it.