Wisconsin’s Fishing Opener on May 6th, what you need to know

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Wisconsin’s Fishing Opener is on May 6th, however, with the late start to spring there’s still ice on the water. Cold waters can be dangerous without preparation, but there’s easy ways to have a great fishing season. While some reminders might seem straight-forward like wearing a life jacket, an extra change of clothes, etc. There are some essential reminders like having a first aid kit, and washing off your boat.

Scott Miller of Northwest Outlook talked more about how the weather can impact Wisconsin’s Fishing opener. “There’s a bit of a hard water problem out there on a lot of lakes. But, it doesn’t take too many days where the sunshine and that wind will rock that ice right away and clear the lakes right up.” Miller said. “Hopefully, fingers crossed we’ll be having a having a good opener here. If you do happen to fall in, it’s going to be really important to be wearing that life jacket. It might not be a bad idea to have a spare change of clothes with you in the boat, just in case you do get wet.”

Likewise, Minnesota anglers are also getting ready for the fishing season, but they are struggling with finding minnows. There is no shortage of minnows for Wisconsin’s Fishing Opener. Although, Russ Francisco, the owner of Marine General said the lack of minnows in Minnesota, is nothing new. “So we’ve lost some trappers. We’ve lost a lot of the breeding ponds where they could raise minnows which weren’t originally own by those people [trappers]. We lost them to wetlands.” Francisco said. “Remember, you cannot legally take minnows after you’ve been out in the lake. You cannot take them with you. You got to put them out, you know, get rid of them.”

According to the Minnesota DNR, it’s illegal to bring minnows from out of the state. So a Duluth resident can’t even drive across the bridge to Superior, buy some minnows during the Wisconsin’s Fishing Opener, and come back to fish in Minnesota. But why exactly? Brad Parsons, the Fisheries Section Manager explained why these regulations are in place. “There’s particularly a fish disease known as the VHS that we are very concerned about. It’s caused major fish kills in other states. We’re currently fortunate in Minnesota we don’t have that.” Parsons said.

However, why is Minnesota is it so difficult to come across minnows, compared to someone fishing during Wisconsin’s Fishing Opener. Parsons said that the late start to spring played a major role. “Since most of the bait in Minnesota is harvested from the wild, you’re kind of at the at the whim of Mother Nature. And we had drought for a couple of years and that lowered water levels. And then we had a huge snowpack this year which can cover up waters and lead to oxygen problems, which can make it harder to overwinter minnows.” Parsons said.

For more information on Wisconsin’s Fishing Opener you can look here. However, for information about Minnesota’s Fishing opener you can look here. Also for more stories about fishing you can read those here.