Fishing license…check! New line spooled on the reels…check! Tacklebox cleaned and decluttered…check! Boat taken out of storage inspecting all critical components for operation…check! Boat trailer serviced ensuring against any unpleasant surprises while driving to the lake…check! Trip to local sporting goods store purchasing the latest gizmos and gadgets for fishing fun…check! Snacks for munching on between fishing bites…check!
Indeed, with the Minnesota Fishing Opener just days away these are some busy, yet exciting times for Minnesota's anglers. In fact, often times the preparation phase leading up to the big day can be nearly as much fun as the opening day itself.
Whether plans are to drive just a few miles to the lake, or perhaps driving several hours northbound, the Minnesota Fishing Opener represents a much celebrated event for sportsmen located in all corners of our state. For many of us, taking part in this annual piscatorial ritual is often even more important than catching a stringer full of walleye.
It's about family and friends getting together after a long winter to renew a kindred outdoor spirit. Oh sure, the goal is always to catch 'ol glass eyes and to savor the fishy odor left on your hands…but during the opener "catching" fish is only part of the equation that measures a successful outing. The other factor is simply sharing a boat or cabin with special friends who also cherish the annual spring fishing tradition.
Perhaps no other state in the country can claim what Minnesota has going for it. Sure, other states have opening days of their fishing seasons, but in Minnesota when nearly a million anglers take to the waters on one single day…hey, now that's something special. Especially, considering that Minnesota is so geographically diverse that an angler near Faribault might be swatting mosquitoes during the day, while another angler near International Falls might still be navigating the boat around ice.
To many of us the tradition of taking part in the Minnesota Fishing Opener dates back to our childhoods. Often, it was an experience such as the fishing opener that baptized a young child into the outdoor world. Even decades later, the act of heading to the lake can still hold as much intrigue and excitement as it once did during those earlier years of life.
No doubt there are families and friends throughout Minnesota eager for the 2009 walleye fishing season to open statewide. Some might claim the event signals the true arrival of spring here in Minnesota. Others might use the event as nothing but an excuse to escape the usual chores associated with life. No matter what the reason for participating, when the clock strikes midnight on Friday night the waiting ends and the fishing fun officially begins.
Let's see. Lake maps…check! Personal flotation devices…check! Landing net…check! Camera…check! Rainwear…check! Polarized sunglasses…check! Coffee thermos…check! That's it, let's finally get this 2009 Minnesota walleye, sauger, northern pike and lake trout fishing seasons underway.