The first Saturday in May brings Vermonters to the opening day of walleye season. Many hold this day right up there with the opening day of deer season with the level of excitement they share. I arrived to the river a met up with a buddy who picked me up on the bank. As I stood there waiting, I saw that it was going to be a busy day. From what I could see, there was already 50-75 boats fishing one small stretch of the river north of the mouth. I loaded up my things and we made a short run to our first spot.
The weather was fantastic. Blue skies and warm, this was a treat since we have spent many openers in our Clam “blue suits” with spitting snow. Our technique was simple. Small lead jigs, 1/4-1/2 ounce, tipped with a fathead minnow. The presentation is nothing more than a lift/fall. As soon as the jig hits the bottom you jig again, and repeat. We made our first pass and within 5 minutes I was hooked up. Now when these fish hit you think you’ve hooked bottom. Very rarely do you actually feel a bite, most of the time you’ll feel weight with and immediate head shake. After my buddy scrambled for the net we managed to boat a nice 27″ walleye that weighed in around 7lbs. Great way to start the morning. I put on a fresh minnow and went back to my cadenced jigging. Two more passes later I hooked up again, seems like I’ve got a pattern going. I was the only one in the boat that was using a simple chartreuse jig, the color might have been the factor but the weight was more significant. The jig I was using was much heavier than the two other jigs being used in the boat. This gave me an advantage. There was no reason for me to be using this heavy of a jig other than it was already tied on from fishing the Connecticut River from shore in fast water. The extra added weight have my presentation a little more clack when the jig made contact with the bottom or structure. Also was producing a larger dust cloud when coming in contact with the bottom which also helped with attracting the spooked post spawn walleye.
After a few more passes with no luck we made a move to our next spot. This next spot would be a little more tricky to fish as it has much more structure, i.e. logs to fish around and not get snag on. On our second pass I was able to hook up yet again. The third and final fish of the day was the smallest of the three but still a very respectable 26″ fish. That was my limit. All in all it was a successful morning for me. I spent a little over two hours on the river and fared well. Maybe the color and weight of the jig made my day more successful but either way, the fishing produced and I got to spend time on the water with friends.