For many Minnesotans, the "Fishing Opener" is that serrated strip on the box you rip to get at the breaded cod. We may not fish, ever. But we pay lip service to the idea of fishing, even though fish have no lips, because it's one of those things embedded in state culture like a sharp hook in a muskie's gullet.

I wish I liked it, but I lack the patience. If I wanted to sit for six hours waiting for something dramatic to happen, I'd watch a "Downton Abbey" marathon. (There, I've alienated everyone.)

At the DNR website, there are helpful reminders: "Lakes are opened to liberalized fishing when a fish population is endangered due to the lack of oxygen available in the water. These lakes are opened so that the public can take fish before they die."

It sounds like you're expected to drive them around and show them the sights before they pass. What's on your bucket list, fish? Well, not a bucket, pal.

Also: "You may sell rough fish." This is a term anglers know, but it's odd. Rough as in a first draft? Like a black-and-white fish with just a few details? Or rough like carp that fly out of the water and punch you? This is why carp-infested lakes have one guy in the prow with a chain saw.

The new regulations from DNR Fishing have many changes to the catch-and-release laws. "Along certain stretches of a river that borders Wisconsin, shovel-headed batfish over 120" must be released, with bus fare taped to their side." And so on. For fish, this must be like alien abduction. I was levitated into a bright light by creatures who examined me on a great floating craft, then they sent me home. You gotta believe me! No I wasn't out spawning with someone else last night!

Again, the closest I'll get to catch-and-release is returning a Filet-O-Fish because there's hair in the tartar sauce, so don't listen to me about any of this. Enjoy the opener! Just be careful not to say that phrase to the fish when you get out the knife. Unless it's a carp.