Hooked on Walleye opener

Dan Rolling doesn’t mess around when it comes to utilizing as many fishing rods as he can while out on the boat.

Fishing passion never ebbs for Dan Rolling

By Per Peterson

Dan Rolling figures if he’s going out on a boat to fish, he might as well increase his odds.

It isn’t uncommon for the avid angler from Tracy to bring multiple rods with him, whether he’s angling up in Alexandria or working lakes closer to home.

“When we go up north, I’ll fish for walleye and bass, and I’ll take up three poles just for bass,” Rolling said. “I’ll have a 20-pound line to go out to the lily pads, and I’ll set up with a Texas worm and maybe one with a spinner bait.”

Each rod will have different sized line on them.

“I don’t want to change everything out all the time — once you get in the boat, you got four hours worth of fishing so you want to utilize it.”

Rolling has, at times, had as many as eight lines out on a boat at once. He has his collection of rods and reels displayed proudly and neatly in his attached garage — some for crappie, some for bass, some for walleye and some for catfish. He has the most fun fishing for bass in farm ponds.

“They’re the funnest,” he said. “Some of my best fishing are with the frog (bait) on a farm pond at night. You don’t have to take the big boat. You just sit there. Sometimes when you go out bass fishing, you’re constantly working for bass up and down the shorelines, here you just go along the middle of it, throw your line over the lily pads. You never know when you’re gonna go over top of that bass. When they come out, they come out just screamin’.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.

Late ice-out might affect fish bite

By Per Peterson

Will a historically-late ice-out affect this year’s fishing opener?

“Given the record late ice-out this year and water temps, I suspect — but I hope I am wrong — that walleye may be a little lock-jawed,” said Ryan Doorenbos of Windom Area Fisheries.

Doorenbos said walleye could be in their post-spawn stage and if so will not be as active as they normally would be with warmer water temps.

“I wish I had the crystal ball and the ability to make those fish bite and be active,” Doorenbos said. “With that said, I do believe the cooler temps of our lakes now may favor the recovery period post spawn for those walleyes. They are a cooler temperature species and favor cooler temps over warm weather. Fact of the matter is that we have some really nice populations of walleye in our area lakes which creates the opportunity or potential which is what we like to see.”

For those looking for walleye, Lake Shetek and Lake Sarah will once again be relied upon this spring and summer by area anglers and should produce similar success rates as in past years. Lake surveys from the past three years indicate that there are good numbers of harvestable-sized walleye in many of our area lakes, according to an outlook summary from Windom Area Fisheries.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.