Early season walleye action is finally humming on the Rainy River on the Minnesota/Ontario border. Nick Lindner runs through some up-to-date conditions, as well as some go-to presentations and strategies for targeting spring walleyes in river systems.
It is arguably one of everyone’s favorite times of year, when spring comes rolling around and walleyes start biting on the Rainy River. Anglers from all over rush to the border to experience this incredible body of water and the potential for fish of a lifetime.
Nick says the two most important factors in catching more fish than the crowds are understanding water clarity and current and how fish move based on both of those things. Nick likes somewhere in between clear and stained water with limited current which allows for better boat control and also allows for using lighter jigs.
1/8th oz jigs in shallow water were the main key to this bite and you want to use the lightest jig you can get away with while maintaining bottom contact or at least keeping it close. Don’t overwork your baits as the water is still cold and fish may not be in the mood to chase. The Deep Vee Jig and Impulse Smelt Minnow got the biggest workout throughout this trip and make a great pairing in early season situations and also throughout the year when conditions call for casting plastics and bouncing jigs.
Another great couple options are a Deep Vee Bucktail and an Impulse Paddle Minnow which can give you a bigger presence and a different action that can give you more bites than people around you as a look the walleye haven’t seen as often. If jigs aren’t your thing don’t hesitate to grab a Northland Rumble Shiner and cast and reel it along the bottom walleyes can’t resist that balsa action.