Minnesota Fishing Opener

Updated: 05/15/2014 10:26 AM
Created: 05/14/2014 5:13 PM
By: Laura Kennedy

For many Northlanders, it's tough to beat a day spent on the water.

"Just enjoying the weather, spending time with the kiddos, throw a line in the water, maybe something will bite," said Christopher Iverson, who grew up in Duluth.

This year's Minnesota fishing opener happened to fall on Mother's Day weekend. For Kimberly Helmer, there was no better way to spend the holiday than dropping a line in Island Lake.

"I wouldn't have it any other way," Helmer said. "I've got both my kids and my husband with me. That's what it's all about on Mother's Day."

It was a memorable one. In 28 years of fishing, Helmer had never caught a walleye until now.

"I looked at the water this morning and said all right, I'll throw a red hook on it," she said. "Nice little weight and fish off the bottom. Sure enough just hooked it up threw it out and first bite. It was very exciting. It was an adrenaline rush for a fish."

The feisty fish wasn't bound for the dinner table.

"I'm mounting it," Helmer said. "It's my first walleye ever so I'm putting it on the wall."

Helmer's brother Joshua Gaskell brought his family too. His wife Jessica was the lucky angler, landing not one but two whopper walleye.

"She pulled it in and I basically jumped in the water to grab it because we didn't have a net and didn't want to lose it," Gaskell said. "So we're going to mount that one. Today, my sister picked out a 20 1/2 incher. As soon as she put it on the stringer, here's my wife again just cranking it, reeling in. "I've gotten one walleye and I think she's up to probably 24 now."

Reeling in the catch of the day is great, but Gaskell says time spent together is the real reward.

"There's nothing to beat it," Gaskell said. "To be out and interact with people and show our kids how to be good sportsmen, that's the way to do it."

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