Posted at: 05/11/2013 5:15 PM
Updated at: 05/11/2013 6:13 PM
By: Travis Dill
A cold and slightly snowy fishing opener did not stop Minnesota anglers, and the DNR was watching out for invasive species.
DNR officials were watching Rice's Point in Duluth as anglers set out on Saturday. They were informing boaters how to watch out for pesky invasive species.
It was a message important to many anglers like Jason Shaw.
“We make sure that there's nothing hanging off the trailer and emptied out the livewell, pulled the plug and make sure there's nothing on the boat,” Shaw said. “You don't want anything moved around to different lakes, you know.”
Dozens launched into the St. Louis River because it was one of the only spots of open water. Ice still lingered on many area lakes on Saturday. Shaw said the river was not his first choice.
“I'd say frustrating because you can't go where'd want to and you're limited to whatever's open,” Shaw said.
He typically goes out on Island Lake, but said there was about 13 inches of ice still on the lake.
That ice could not stop a diehard group of friends though. Chris Simonson said the cold and snowy weather just made it a unique experience.
“It's just kind of a bonding experience. The nice thing is next year it'll be, hopefully, 70, sunny and we'll be tanning out here,” Simonson said.
The strong winds left their tents in shambles, and they weren't getting any bites from shore. “It's bad. Fishing is really bad this year,” Simonson said.
But the true anglers hung on, and their patience did pay off. One in the group reeled in a walleye as the snow started to let up on Saturday.
The group said they would continue to camp out on the lake through the weekend.