Minnesota Fishing Opener Woes

Posted at: 05/09/2013 5:12 PM
Updated at: 05/09/2013 6:20 PM
By: Travis Dill

Late ice put a cramp on local resorts and bait shops heading into the Minnesota fishing opener, but some anglers have set up camp around the few patches of open water.

The lingering ice is a problem for Hi-Banks Resort in Fredenberg Township. Owner Tim Wagner said it has caused people to think twice about their reservations.

“About Tuesday we started getting phone calls from people cancelling and just today we rebooked three of the cabins,” Wagner said.

He said he was lucky that people still want to get out of the house despite the ice on Fish Lake, but he will lose some money on boat rentals.

Over at Chalstrom's Bait the late ice means no leeches could be harvested, and other bait shipments were pushed back a week or two. Owner John Chalstrom said that will keep him busy preparing for the fishing opener.

“I will be up late packing crawlers tonight. Leeches aren't available, but we do have a lot of crawlers and those work great in cold water too,” Chalstrom said.

He said the the weather could slow business this weekend, but ice won't stop all the anglers.

“People that are determined to go fishing this weekend will find a place to put a line in some open water,” Chalstrom said.

A group of friends proved that with a makeshift camp next to some open water on Island Lake. Setting up tents there for opener weekend is a 9-year tradition for the friends and they said a little ice cannot stop that.