Minnow Shortage Affects Bait Shops Statewide for Minnesota Fishing Opener

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: May 10, 2019 10:37 PM

Minnesota anglers are counting down the hours to get out on the lakes catching the coveted walleye and Northern pike Saturday for the Minnesota Fishing Opener.


Local bait shop Chalstroms was affected by the statewide shortage in minnows.

The long winter and cool spring had an effect on fish. Many of them died in shallow ponds and lakes as a result.

John Chalstrom, the owner of Chalstroms, said he made sure the bait shop was stocked up on minnows and other bait like chubs, crawlers, and leeches. Chalstrom said he'll be getting a shipment of chubs Saturday morning. 

He said it’s been a busy week for the shop, selling over 500 fishing licenses this week.

John offered patience as a tip for anglers looking to catch walleye Saturday.

"Especially walleyes, they're going to be close to their spawning beds and in pretty shallow water so probably eight to ten feet of water. Chubs work good and use real slow presentation, fish don't start moving that fast until water warms up,” Chalstrom said.

Although there were some effects from the weather, fishing continues to be a big money generator in the state. An estimated $2.4 billion in retail sales is made in Minnesota.

The state reports that it supports more than 35,000 jobs. The DNR licenses 1.4 million anglers every year. If you add in children, it's more like two million.


Alejandra Palacios

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