Archived Story

Opener could be a freeze out

Published 11:01am Friday, May 10, 2013

It’s Minnesota’s most popular unofficial holiday, but this year might not be any reason to celebrate. With ice still on many of the larger, more popular fishing lakes, anglers will have to head to smaller lakes for any chance of success.

According to fishing guide Wayne Johnson of Walleye Masters in Miltona, that means many of the lakes could be crowded. Fish selection will be different as well. Instead of the coveted walleye, pan fish, like sunfish and crappies, might be the best way to go.

“If people want to fish, there are places to fish,” Jonhson said. “It’s just going to be more difficult. There’s not much you can do.”

Johnson, who has been fishing for 46 years, won’t be this opener because of problems with his boat. While Johnson admitted the missed weekend won’t mean too much personally, it will mean a lot to business owners and enthusiasts in the lakes area.

“I’ve been doing this so long, it sure isn’t going to break my heart,” Johnson said. “But there have been a lot of cancellations at resorts and their season is short enough already as it is. It really will affect their business and bait shops as well.”

Johnson hopes windier conditions will help cut the ice soon, but doesn’t expect to see a large boom in fishing numbers until Memorial Day.

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