Posted at: 05/11/2013 10:52 PM
A handful of anglers in Albert Lea say local lakes are usually jam packed during opener weekend. But that wasn't the case this morning on Fountain Lake.
"I try to avoid the crowds, the only reason I came out was because the lake wasn't crowded, no one wants to go fishing," said David Johnson of Albert Lea.
David Johnson lives in Albert Lea and says he usually steers clear of fishing opener. Only because it usually draws big crowds out to the lake.
"Openers are usually so jammed packed you can't get in and out," said Johnson.
Saturday I tagged along with a local fisherman, and during the time we were out on the lake, we only saw a handful of boats out there with us.
"I really think it's the wind has a lot to do with it because it is adding quite a challenge," said Larry Anderson of Albert Lea.
This isn't the first time Larry Anderson has been out on the lake this year; he was out crappie fishing yesterday. But says walleye and northern fishing is a whole new ballgame.
“The fight in a northern is really fun and walleyes taste so good. It’s just I think the challenge to catch them,” said Anderson.
Fountain Lake may not have seen many boats Saturday, but anglers found other ways to get their lines wet.
"We have a really unique situation out here. We have so much shoreline that's public fishing that even on opener you'll see the shores lines a lot more than boats," said Lance Frank of The Dam Bait Shop.
The Dam Bait Shop is right across the street from the channel. They say there's been a steady flow of anglers coming in for bait, but not as many as expected.
Many like David Johnson, say getting out on the lake for opener weekend was well worth it. But he was a little disappointed to leave without his first walleye of the year.
"No, it's not a bragging day today," said Johnson.
"We all prep for it, we all get our boats ready for months and hope for a great day and sometimes it pans out, sometimes it doesn't," said Johnson.
Many people coming off the lake today didn't have much to brag about. They told me the fish just weren't biting. I spoke with DNR officials and they say it's just an off year and that can actually change fish behavior.