Anglers take to the Water for Minnesota Fishing Opener

DULUTH, Minn. – “It was good to be back out on the open water again that’s for sure, not freezing out there, actually get some sunshine,” said Gabe Umpierre after fishing on Fish Lake.

Saturday kicked off fishing opener for Minnesota, and anglers were happy to get back out and throw some lines in the water.

“My first time out here, I’m with my buddy Donny here. It was a beautiful this morning, sun was shining, it was a little chilly, wind made it a little chilly. But, you know we got to our first spot of the morning and just settled in and got right back into it. Caught a couple fish, nothing we could keep, but made it work,” said Umpierre

Though the wind was blowing, the sun was out, making it a pleasant and busy day out on Fish Lake.

“It was almost like bumper boats out there, trying to find a spot to fish, you know all the good spots are three, four boats in there,” said Umpierre

Because of the recent rain, water levels are up, adding an extra challenge to the sport.

Lakes are definitely high, I mean with the ramps and stuff it makes it a little more difficult,” said Umpierre.

“A lot of people were trying to fish the St. Louis River and it’s almost unfishable, the water’s so high, it’s fast, a lot of debris coming down, and then water temperatures are really cold right now, so I’m hearing that the Walleye haven’t quite spawned yet so it might be a little bit pokey, but at the same time as long as you have a line in the water you have a chance,” Fredenberg Minno-Ette Owner, Jason Manning says.

Over at the Minno-Ette in Fredenberg, they experienced a slow start in the early morning, but business quickly picked up around eight.

“It was a little bit pokier this year and then we realized last year, bars and restaurants really weren’t open that much. This year, they’re open, so people are out and about celebrating last night and then as soon as it hit about 8 o’clock this morning, it was like a switch turned and boom, people just started pouring in,” said Manning.

It was a colder start to Spring compared to last year, and the Minnesota DNR says the cold water has an effect on the habits of the fish.

“We are a little behind schedule this year, last year was a very early ice out, a very early Spring, so this will be different, this will be a little more normal or to the late side. A lot of our lakes are about a week to ten days behind in ice particularly up north. So expect cold water, expect fish maybe to move a little slower, expect fish to maybe be congregating in places where water flows in to a lake because often times that’s a little bit warmer water,” Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Section Manager, Brad Parsons says.

The popular bait bought today at the Fredenberg Minno-Ette were chubs and shiners.

“Finally some beautiful weather, it’s great to talk fishing with all the people that come in, it’s probably my favorite thing to do next to actually fishing. But, it’s wonderful, I mean look at this bluebird sky, sunshine, it’s as good as it gets,” said Manning.

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