Minnows and leeches may be in short supply for the 2018 Minnesota fishing opener. The late ice out and colder temperatures in Minnesota has been causing a lot of havoc this spring. From ice covered boat launches to freezing engines, fisherman have had it rough. Smelters have even had a rough time this spring. What is usually a sandy beach in Duluth, MN covered with seine nets and bomb fires is covered with thick ice leaving the water inaccessible. Not only does this cause an inconveniences to the fisherman but it also is going to have a major impact on the fish. Mainly their food supply. Lakes with heavy ice cover this late in the spring reduces the oxygen level in the water. This leads to low populations of minnows and even the death of a lot of game fish. Minnow harvesters can't even get to the few minnows that are out there. Leeches hibernate during the winter and as the water warms they wake up. Due to the lower temperature of the water due to ice cover they are going to wake up much later this year. All these factors put together are going to make for an interesting Minnesota fishing opener. If you are planning on using live bait call ahead to your favorite bait store to make sure they have a supply.
All is not lost however. Artificial plastic minnows, grubs and leeches are a great alternative. Make sure to scent them up with Dr. Juice to more closely simulate live bait . The fear pheromones and sex pheromones in Dr. Juice trick the fish into striking harder and hanging on longer.
If you do find live bait, use Dr. Juice on it as well. The fear pheromones make the bait fearful and more lively attracting more fish.This is a trick used by many shiner fisherman for bass when using small balloons as floats next to bulrushes. The effect is obvious when your balloon is bouncing around like crazy and your fishing buddies balloon is just sitting there. Fear pheromones or Schreckstoff (discovered in 1938) are encapsulated in small vesicles under the skin of minnows. When a predator chomps the minnow, it's released, and the rest of the school smells it and erratically, rapidly swims away. To the predator fish, this is the convincing smell of a meal. To the minnow species this means danger.
Become a dangerous fisherman, get some Dr. Juice