Early-season walleyes follow the shiner spawn.
MN guide Scott Seibert talks shallow, early-season walleyes. Timely info:
> Early-season walleye patterns on northern MN fisheries often occur in less than 12′. While classic deep-structure patterns will emerge as the summer progresses, many anglers miss opportunities by looking too deep, too early.
> Fisheries such as Lake Winnibigoshish and Leech Lake hold tremendous walleye populations. Both share a common popularity, and have a shallow-weedline bites that often occur in less than 10′.
> The shiner spawn – which often coincides with blooming lilacs – is a major trigger that creates shallow-walleye bites. Sand or fine gravel is usually preferred, but there’s also usually weed growth (pencil reeds, cabbage, etc) in these areas on natural lakes.
> Many of these fisheries offer extremely good water visibility. Wind can trigger aggressive fish to move up into shallow water and feed aggressively, where a lack of wind can shut down some of these shallow bites.
> If the wind lays down, be prepared to slide out over the next break. Cold fronts and major weather systems can also push fish slightly deeper, but as a rule of thumb: you can expect some very aggressive fish up in less than 10′ during stable weather when there’s wind.
> Sharp breaks adjacent to shallow flats and weedlines will often concentrate fish when they do slide out into 12-20′. Use your electronics to look for fish and anticipate shadows by where the angle of the sun is. Sharp breaklines that cast deep dark shadows will often hold fish.