Minnesota Fishing Opener

Posted by MNAngler On May - 9 - 2010

[Walleye art by Joe Tomelleri, americanfishes.com]

When talking about fishing in Minnesota there is one date that is important above all others: the Minnesota Fishing Opener. In fact, it’s probably just as important to non-anglers, even if they don’t know it, because of its psychological and economic impact on the state. This year it falls on May 15.

The Minnesota State Fish is the walleye. We live, breathe, and dream about walleye in Minnesota. The fishing opener is all about this fish. No one ever talks about being able to catch Northern Pike on the same day, or that smallmouth and largemouth bass seasons aren’t open until two weeks later. In Minnesota, it’s all about the walleye.

Every Minnesotan will either be on the water opening weekend, or knows someone who will. If nothing else, they’ll certainly hear about the governor on opening day. Sybil Smith will probably be out with him. It’s an ongoing tradition that the governor goes fishing on the Fishing Opener and all the local news stations cover how he does. It makes me wonder how many Minnesota governors actually liked to fish.

For me, the big day will come two weeks later when I can start going after bass. I typically avoid Opener weekend because everyone and their brother is out on the water. For many anglers, this is the only weekend they get out. They get all geared up, get up early in the morning, don’t do as well as they had dreamed, then hang up their rod and reel for another year. It is, however, a Minnesota tradition.

Being that tomorrow begins the last work week before THE day, the countdown officially starts tomorrow. Come Saturday, Mark will be on Lake Mille Lacs and Ken will be up at his cabin. I have no plans for the weekend this year. I may head out to a local lake, or just sit and dream about opening day two weeks later.


Here are the dates for the 2010-1011 seasons for the common species in Minnesota (taken from the Minnesota DNR web site):

Dates Species
05/15/10 – 09/30/10 Lake Trout (summer) – 2010 season
05/15/10 – 02/27/11 Walleye, sauger, northern pike – 2010 season
05/15/10 – 10/31/10 Stream Trout in lakes – 2010 season
05/29/10 – 02/27/11 Largemouth Bass – 2010 season
05/29/10 – 02/27/11 Smallmouth Bass – 2010 season
06/05/10 – 12/01/10 Muskellunge (Muskie) – 2010 season
09/13/10 – 02/27/11 Smallmouth Bass – 2010 catch and release season
09/15/10 – 09/30/10 Stream Trout (Fall) SE – 2010 catch and release season

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5 Responses to “Minnesota Fishing Opener”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Hunting and Fishing . Hunting and Fishing said: Minnesota Fishing Opener « Journal of a Minnesota Angler: The Minnesota State Fish is the walleye. We live, breath… http://bit.ly/935x1Z [...]

  2. [...] the Minnesota Fishing Opener just hours away, we all hope to catch that lunker that will make our season. And when we do, [...]

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