2015 fishing opener

What: Fishing for walleye, northern pike and bass begins at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. (Bass angling is catch and release until May 23 except in the Arrowhead, where harvest is allowed.)

Who: About 500,000 anglers are estimated to fish opening weekend. Throughout the year, about 1.3 million people fish in Minnesota — fully 200,000 more than fished here 30 years ago.

The money: Each year, Minnesota anglers spend $50 million on bait, $34 million on tackle and $8 million on ice. In all, the Minnesota fishing economy exceeds $1.8 billion each year. Average annual spending per angler in the state: $1,086.

Forecast: Clear to partly cloudy skies are expected statewide, with temperatures touching 60 in the north and edging higher in the south. Moderate winds from the north and northeast are forecast.

How to catch ’em: Be on the water early. Use live bait first; shiner minnows if you have them. Before dawn or after dark, troll floating Rapalas or other crankbaits in shallows, over humps and along weed lines. Keep your lure as far back from your boat as possible.

Be safe: Low water levels statewide might complicate boat launching and travel.

Dennis Anderson