The fishing opener everyone talks about in Minnesota is usually in mid-May, but that only applies to walleye and northern pike. Those of us who target bass have to wait an extra two weeks, usually the Saturday of Memorial Weekend.
The bright side of a long, hard winter like the one we just had is that we bass fisherman in Minnesota don’t have to wait as long for bass opener. When the snow melts in March, it drives us bass anglers crazy. While I’m ready for winter to be over in February like the rest of us in the frozen North, I can take solace in the short wait to bass opener if winter drags on.
Last Saturday was the big day so I pulled out my float tube and headed to a local lake that can produce some nice largemouths. I wasn’t ambitious enough to get up very early, but managed to get on the lake by 9:30am. The lake I fished has a couple of nice sunken islands and points, but they are too far to get to from the public beach using a float tube. The other end of the lake is encompassed by a local college and is protected by a gate house so I was always afraid to try to make my way there to get access to the other side of the lake. This Spring, I discovered the guards rarely stop anyone from coming in. That was all I needed.
I scoped the lake out about a month ahead of time and there were lots of places to put in and I would not only be able to get around the point at that end of the lake, I would also be able to fish a pile of lily pads that always look inviting. I have fished them from a boat, but never from a float tube because of the distance.
I was on the lake until about 11:30 and only had one fish on that I lost, so it wasn’t a great first outing. However, I was able to try out my new toy that I got for Christmas, the Sonarphone. I think I spent more time thinking about and playing with my new toy than concentrating on fishing. I will write a review at a later date, but in general, I am very impressed. It brought a whole new dimension to float tube fishing that I didn’t have before. I am looking forward to using it all season.