It may have been spectacular weather for Minnesota’s fishing opener, but the fishing didn’t match the sunshine in most areas.
Conservation officers reported many — but not all — anglers struggled to catch fish. He’s a roundup, based on conservation officer reports:
Bemidji: Angler success was good, with four to eight walleyes per boat common. Another officer said success was better than average, with some anglers landing limits. Detroit Lakes: Success for walleyes and northerns was about normal. Osakis: Fair to good. Glenwood: Fair. Fergus Falls: Fair, with some limits. Cass Lake: Mixed, depending on location. Lake Winnibigoshish: Slow.
At Orr, fishing was very poor. And near Cook, “the fish did not bite very well,’’ reported officer Brad Schultz. Slow was the word at Aurora. In the Two Harbors area: “Anglers were largely unhappy with the numbers of fish they caught,’’ reported officer Dan Thomasen. Action was better near Hill City and Grand Rapids.
Near Pine River, a great morning bite helped, and some walleye limits were seen. At Brainerd, the bite was slower than expected.
In the Crosby area, the bite for walleyes and northerns was poor. “Many anglers blamed the slow bite on the prior week of cold weather and heavy rains leading up to the opener,’’ reported officer Karl Hadrits. “One of the few anglers found with a walleye said he fished 12 hours to catch that one fish.’’ Crappies were biting in shallows on some lakes, he said. And Hadrits encountered two anglers with two 10- to 12-pound northerns.
As is often the case, reports from Lake Mille Lacs varied. One officer said walleye fishing was fair to good, with a few limits seen. Another officer called success “so-so. But a third officers reported seeing “quite a few’’ walleye limits.
Near Hinckley, it was a tough bite. At Pine City, officer Eugene Wynn said he saw more anglers than ever, but fish didn’t cooperate. And near Princeton, success was generally low.
Closer to the Twin Cities, success near Center City was pretty good, especially for crappies. A family of four was cited for having 73 crappies – 33 over their limit, and were cited.
Educating boaters about VHS
Because Lake Superior and its tributaries are listed as infected with viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS), conservation officers set up a special work detail on public accesses on the St. Louis River and Lake Superior last week.
 Boaters were educated on the issue and how to prevent its spread to other inland lakes. Officers checked more than 350 boats and 775 anglers and boaters.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott said anglers were receptive to doing their part to stop the spread of VHS. Some weren’t happy about having to dispose of their minnows, he reported, but understood the importance of draining all water before leaving.


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