Updated: May 15, 2021 10:31 PM
Created: May 15, 2021 04:08 PM
Minnesota’s Fishing Opener is finally upon us!
State officials predict that half a million anglers will fish Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes over the course of this year's opening weekend.
“It’s probably the best opener we've had in a lot of years. It’s not raining. It’s not snowing so conditions should be just ideal. Great post-spawn bite so it will be a good day today,” Paul Kovach of Duluth said.
On Saturday, the St. Louis River saw its fair share of action. Trucks and trailers first started arriving in the parking lot as soon as 5:00am. A few hours later, the parking lot was full.
“It was crowded out there, so there was a lot of fishing pressure, which I think moved the fish around a little, but we caught some fish and threw some back and we're going to be eating walleye tonight,” Dean Thesing of Cloquet said.
In addition to walleye, anglers tried for Bass, Northern Pike and Lake Trout.
“This is one of the best Lake Trout fisheries around in my opinion,” Mike Fischer of the Twin Cities said.
Normally, Minnesota’s Fishing Opener takes place a week earlier, but this year, it was delayed by a Minnesota state statute that sets fishing opener as the Saturday two weeks prior to the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, which is also late this year—falling on May 31st.
The extra seven days gave anglers extra time to plan and get their crews together.
“It's kind of a circus with all the boats, so that can be entertaining as well,” Kovach said.
The state of Minnesota removed outdoor distancing requirements and masks are no longer required outdoors. Anglers are encouraged to grab their nets, poles and coolers and get out on the water.
“Fishing is fishing. Bad day on the water is better than a good day at work,” Fischer said.
The Minnesota DNR said the walleye population on the St. Louis River has been steady this year. They have seen fish as big as 32 inches long.