Last weekend (4-18-15) was the Minnesota trout opener so I decided to pack my sleeping bag and tag along on an old friends annual family fishing trip. The Tener family has been going to Whitewater state park many years now for trout opener as a sort of “family tradition”. Not making the trip for the past few years now, they decided to rally the troops and give whitewater a shot again this April. I too am no stranger to the Elba, MN area streams and rivers. Growing up in Rochester as a child, I remember many summer days spent casting panther martins about the many miles of trout fishing paradise that Whitewater state park has to offer.
The pattern we found at the time was simple. I started casting a spinner and Jeff started by casting a sinking countdown Rapala. After getting about a 4 or 5 brown trout advantage, I quickly realized the Rapala’s were outproducing other presentations. Switching colors and sizes around was pretty key for us as Jeff switched to a larger stick bait and started to catch larger fish. We mainly focused on the more narrow sections of the river near or close to the park so we could move quickly between spots and stay on shore. We located most of our fish just down river from faster moving water or rapid sections. The larger deeper holes didn’t produce much for bites so we zoned in on the faster water and were rewarded with a few nice catches.
A few days before trout opener I was on the Mississippi River quite a bit in the Pool 4 area. Fishing was very good for my boat as we experienced higher catch rates than usual of 20-24″ fish. Targeting walleyes shallow was the tactic we used to produce the best results. As most people know, walleyes use shallow water to spawn. We targeted a depth of 7 feet or less that also had minimal amounts of current to create ideal spawning habitat for these giant famale walleyes. Best results were produced pitching plastics,minnows, and blades in low light periods. The best plastic in my boat hands down that week was the 4″ moxi.
Now it is time for me to shift gears and load the Skeeter for the voyage back north to the iron range. On my agenda for the next week are setteling into a new place, scouting a few new lakes and locations, and most importantly preparing to guide a walleye trip for the 2015 MN governors opener on beautiful Lake Vermilion. Keep an eye out for my next report and stay safe on the water this year.