Fishing Opener 2015: Walleye can be lured in by the weather

Here in the Upper Midwest, the weather affects everything, but mainly our mood. We all have that relative who wears that they can feel it in their joints when the weather is about to change. The same can be said for the Walleye and other species of fish.

There are three main weather situations that affect fishing; High Pressure, Low Pressure and Stable Pressure.


When high pressure moves in, the weather usually clears. The force that clears the skies also disturbs the fish. The increase in pressure is an event the fish can detect. Walleyes take this increase in pressure as a sign of change and usually seek deeper waters or shelter as a result. This is common with a cold front passage and even though the weather is nice, the fish take cover until a few days of stable weather has passed.


When low pressure moves in, the barometer falls. Fish sense this fall in pressure and become more active. The fish move around, come closer to the surface. They also get brave and head into the shallows and weeds.


The best chance of catching fish is when the weather is stable. A few days after a frontal passage is usually the best! The stable environment lures the fish into a false sense of security. Since there are no big changes in pressure, the fish just kind of hang out. Most varieties of fish will still in the same area for longer periods of time. So, when you find that magic fishing hole, keep reeling them in.

Winds and clouds can also affect your day on the lake. Winds will stir up the surface and result in better circulations. Winds blowing in the same direction are best as it will steer the fish to downwind shoreline to feast on the collective prey. Sunlight will do the same by creating lake circulations and bringing smaller prey to the surface. It usually takes several days of steady pressure, sunshine and wind before the idea fishing situation develops.


So, when you take the weather into consideration for the May 9, 2015 MN Fishing Opener, you can determine that the fish will be heading for cover and for deeper waters. A cold front will have just passed and skies will clear, but the sudden change will not produce the best conditions for fishing. However, I have always said, "A bad day of fishing beats a good day of working".


Over the last 50 years of fishing openers in Minnesota, we have never seen a high temperature colder than 47° and we have only seen an overnight low temperature below freezing just once. I say this because I know most Minnesotans can handle anything above freezing.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has composed a quite thorough list of weather for the fishing openers across the state since 1948. Check it out at this link:

Just for the record, the average high and low temperatures in the metro for the average day of the fishing opener are roughly 69°/49°. It looks like we will be slightly below those thresholds for the Walleye Fishing Opener 2016, but at least our rainy stretch will be behind us.

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