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Where will walleyes wander?

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news Morris, 56267
Morris Minnesota 607 Pacific Avenue 56267

About a million anglers are expected to hit Minnesota's lakes this Saturday, searching for the wily walleye.

With the cold spring and a later ice-out this year, Dana Freese from Christopherson's Bait in Alexandria predicts that the smaller, shallower lakes will do better during this weekend's fishing opener.

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He said anglers may want to try Lakes Mary or Reno.

Because of the high water on a lot of area lakes, Freese also noted that anglers may have luck fishing after dark in creeks.

However, whether or not it will be a good or great opener is hard to predict, said Freese, because there are so many different factors that could make it or break it.

He noted that if he had to make a prediction, he thinks this weekend's opener will be similar to last year's fishing debut.

Crappies and sunfish are starting to move into the shallow bays, said Freese, adding that anglers may want to look in muddy bottom bays.

Kathy Berglin, who also works at Christopherson's Bait, said that if the weather holds up, people will be out fishing.

"If the weather is nice, then it is going to be a good opener," she said.

As for what bait to use, Berglin suggested trying nightcrawlers, leeches and golden shiners. The bait shop is hoping to have some spot tails on hand, as well.

If you're trying to lure those elusive walleyes, Berglin said to start off in about 12 to 15 feet of water and work slowly to deeper depths. Because the water isn't real warm yet, fish will be staging in shallower water for the time being.

She also noted that crappies and sunfish would probably be found in the pencil weeds, in the eight to 10 foot range.

Regulations

If you are planning to be out on the water this weekend, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anglers to learn and know what the regulations are on area lakes.

For the most part, fishing regulations will be the same as past years. The one change that applies to walleye and northern is a new regulation that states the "one over" limit now applies to both possession and daily limits. Previously, the "one over" regulation only applied to the daily limit.

The "one over" regulation was put in place to protect fish of a designated size range on particular waters. Anglers are allowed to keep fish smaller than the size range and keep one larger than the size range.

The "one over" limit applies to larger fish an angler can keep, according to the DNR.

Here are special regulations that apply to lakes in Douglas County:

Lake Agnes: All 12-inch and larger bass must be immediately released. One over 20-inches is allowed in possession.

Lake Henry: All 12-inch and larger bass must be immediately released. One over 20-inches is allowed in possession.

Lake Latoka: All northern pike from 24-inches to 36-inches must be immediately released. One over 36-inches is allowed in possession.

Maple Lake: There is a crappie possession limit of five, with a minimum size limit of 10-inches.

Lake Miltona: The minimum size limit for muskies is 48-inches.

Lake Osakis and Little Lake Osakis: Minimum size limit for walleye is 15-inches.

Rachel Lake and Little Rachel Lake: All northern pike from 24-inches to 36-inches must be immediately released. One over 36-inches is allowed in possession.

All regulations can be found in the DNR's fishing regulation handbook, which can be found in area bait shops or online at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

Regulations are also posted at access sites on area lakes.

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