Minnesota Fishing Opener: Let Summer Begin!

Brainerd, MN—Minnesota’s annual fishing opener is a time-honored tradition that nearly half a million anglers participate in every year. Our focus for walleyes will be searching 4-16ft of water on large sand or gravel flats, current areas and first breaks near spawning areas. The first lure of choice will be trolling the Smithwick Rattlin’ Floating Rogue or Perfect 10 Rogue depending on the depth we’re seeing fish. We’ll longline troll slowly through these areas with our eyes on the Garmin Sidevu for schools of fish. A great 1-2 punch from there includes casting a jig/minnow combo (1/8oz), jig/plastic combo(1/4oz Mister Twister Sassy Swimmer) or twitching stickbaits (Smithwick Rogues). We are starting our traditional adventure at midnight with trolling, then transitioning to those casting locations during the day. Also worth mentioning is pitching a lipless crankbait such as a Booyah One Knocker or ripping a hair jig with a rip/pause/lift/slow drop retrieve.

Learn more about Minnesota Fishing regulations and licensing on the DNR’s website.

Minnesota is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” but in reality there are 11,842 of them. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources about 5,400 of them are fishable lakes. Couple that with 18,000 miles of fishable rivers and streams and there is plenty of shoreline and open water opportunities for anglers.

Brainerd is well-known as a Midwest fishing destination and offers some of the best freshwater fishing in the country. In Crow Wing County alone there are 400 lakes and 75 rivers and streams comprising 2,000 miles of shoreline. The Mississippi River also flows through Brainerd and Baxter, MN, and there are several access points along the way for those interested in fishing or exploring the river.

When planning your fishing trip to Brainerd, look no further than Visit Brainerd’s own website. Find information on lakes, licenses and regulations, guide services, current fishing reports, lodging, dining and entertainment all right here. To learn more about planning a fishing trip in Minnesota, reach out to Explore Minnesota Tourism.

Looking for tips on how to tackle this year’s opener? Check out this video from Brainerd Fishing Guide and Visit Brainerd partner Hawg Hunterz Guide Service.