Cold Weather Could Make for Tough Fishing Opener

Updated: 04/10/2013 6:46 AM By: Katherine Johnson

"The next best thing to fishing is talking about fishing," said owner of Oakdale's Blue Ribbon Bait Shop, Josh Stevenson.

That's about all he can do right now.  With more winter weather rolling in, the fishing opener feels much farther off than just a month.

"It's really a complete opposite of last year at this time."

But, as we Minnesotans do, these pro-anglers are looking on the bright side of a cold, slow start to fishing season.

"It's going to increase the odds of somebody going out and coming up with a new idea on how to catch fish," said Stevenson.

Just ask National Fishing Hall of Fame member Dick Gryzwinski - better known by his friends and followers as "The Griz."  He invented the rip-jigging technique in the early 1960's and it rarely fails him.

"Fishing this year has been really tough," said The Griz.

His Sportsman's beard alone shows The Griz knows what he's talking about. But just in case, he also has mounts to prove it.

"You might have a close one on opener," said The Griz.  "You might be chopping ice to get out there!"

"The fewer cold fronts, the better," said DNR Central Region Fisheries Manager Brad Parsons.

At the Central Region Hatchery, the tanks are empty.

"Well, it's the same weather problem that we've all been dealing with," said Parsons.  "It's a late spring."

Anglers say what we need is a slow melt.  Anything too quick will flood rivers and lakes.

"We're really stuck in between what's happening and I'm just hoping it all clears by opener," said Stevenson.