All across Algoma Country anglers are casting an eye towards opening day. Walleye fishing season opens on the third Saturday in May, and countless residents and non-residents alike have their calendars already marked.
The opening day of walleye fishing season is the unofficial beginning of the open water fishing season in Ontario. While a host of other species are already open by the third Saturday in May, walleye are the species that the masses gravitate to.
No surprises here, as walleye are not only popular in Algoma Country, but they are abundant and clearly the most prized on the table.
JIGS GET THE NOD
Walleye are especially eager to bite early in the season when the water is cool. After a long lean winter and the rigors of spawning season, walleye hit the shallows in May looking for an easy meal.
Hands down, the most productive lures for spring fishing are lead head jigs, and most anglers prefer to tip their jigs with a live minnow.
Just a quick reminder, non-residents are not allowed to transport live or dead minnows or leeches across the border. These regulations are in force to stop the spread of invasive species. Thankfully, a host of live bait dealers within Ontario are sure to have plenty of lively walleye minnows on hand.
In May when walleye are found in shallow water, jigs in the 1/8- to 1/4-ounce sizes are usually best. The garden variety round head jig does a good job, but stand-up style jigheads help reduce snags.
These unique jigs also keep the bait positioned up off bottom, where walleye are more likely to spot the offering.
- Mark Romanack