What a difference a year makes. Last season we were wondering if our favorite lake would be ice free for the fishing opener and this year some lakes have had open water for a month already and the walleye finished their spawn weeks ago. Most anglers that hit the water for the opener were reporting some good fishing, with crappie and other panfish moving shallow and easily caught on plastics, worms, and minnows. Look for the fish to be anywhere where there is some wood in areas with high sunlight. I like using small plastics like twisters, tubes, and sliders on a small 1/32 ounce jig under a float for these shallow water areas.