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Thread: St. Germain Area - Opener Outlook

  1. #1

    Default St. Germain Area - Opener Outlook

    Gamefish season for 2012 will open this Saturday May 5. Of course this includes pike, walleye, and the early catch and release season for bass. We all know that the primary target for the opener is walleye. Iíve been getting out the last couple weeks and legally fishing walleye at the DNR experimental lakes at the Northern Highlands Research area. Hereís what Iíve been seeing. Water temperatures have been in the upper 40ís to low 50ís. Thatís still pretty cool but the fish are done spawning. Iíve been finding walleye in the emerging cabbage or mixed weeds in about 5 foot depths. Variety of bait has been a little tough to come by (that will change this weekend) but the standard jig and fathead minnow combination has been working just fine. The bite has been very light and most of the time just dragging a minnow along the bottom you will only feel a little added pressure on the line. It will just feel like you picked up some weeds. When you feel this pressure there are two ways of dealing with it. One technique is to stop the jig and just feel if there is additional movement before setting the hook. The other system is just go ahead and set the hook when you feel any added pressure. Youíre going to be setting the hook into a fish about a third of the time doing this method. When fish start getting more active toward evening or during a weather change Iíve been finding that slip bobber rigs will work well and even outperform jigs. For those of you who donít like messing with live bait Iíd consider doing the same thing with a jig and twister tail grub or using small minnow style crankbaits like Rapalas, Bombers, etc.
    Now, here are a few reminder tips to help make opener weekend a good experience for you. If you havenít picked up a 2012 fishing license yet, nowís the time. It will save time if you bring your old fishing license with you so the sales clerk can just scan the bar code to access your account information. First time buyers like kids will need to provide their Social Security Number and birthdate in order to access the licensing system. For those will special licensing like disabled or military you should have proof that you are eligible for the special license.
    Remember to check your particular lake for size and bag limits. Tribal spearing harvest went on quite a while this spring and as of now we still do not have the adjusted limits. Check for signage at the boat landing for your lake. Those signs take presidence over printed regulations.
    Check your boat for all necessary equipment especially safety gear like fire extinguishers, life jackets, first aid kit etc. To keep everyone happy make sure your gear is stowed in the boat and youíre ready to go before backing your rig down the launch ramp. There is nothing more frustrating that people who back up the launch area by taking up space and then starting to do their loading, unstrapping the boat etc. Seems like common sense but, thereís always a few who mess up the flow by not thinking ahead.
    Most of all, have a good time out there and remember to respect our resources. It should be a good opener so grease up the fry pan and put a bend in your rod.

    Pete Stoltman Regular Fishin' Regular Guys
    (715) 614-4142

  2. #2


    Just a little additional info. Most of the area bait shops have been stocked up. Crappie minnows and fatheads are plentiful. Some Dace available in selected shops, Redtail chubs are available but not in great numbers similar story on Blacktails. Worms and Crawlers are no problem and decent sized leeches are also available.

    Pete Stoltman Regular Fishin' Regular Guys
    (715) 614-4142

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