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Video: Minnesotans Eager To Get Out On The Water For Fishing Opener Saturday Despite Chilly Weather

May 09, 2020 06:15AM ● By Editor

Watch the WCCO-TV Report here

Photo:  WCCO-TV

By David Schuman of WCCO-TV - May 8, 2020 

Anglers in Minnesota are preparing for Saturday’s fishing opener.

As of Thursday, about 116,000 more angling licenses have been bought this year than at the same point in 2019.

“It’s kind of like Christmas Eve,” said Dustin Hafner, the president of DH Custom Rod and Tackle in Wayzata. “We’re Minnesotans. That’s what we do.”

Hafner says business is up over last year.

“I’m going with my dad and two boys so yeah, it’s a big deal,” said Steve Rettler, an angler from Mound.

One of DH’s customers Friday, Alex Rossi, says after not having anything to do since the pandemic started, the opener’s like a neon sign that says “Let’s Go Fishing.”

“I’m going to be one of those people [going out] at midnight,” Rossi said. “I’m a musician by trade, so my hours are late at night. I’m getting ready here and will hopefully be out by dusk.”

For everyone’s health and safety, the DNR is urging people to fish close to home, and don’t stay overnight.Social distancing guidelines still need to be followed.

Rossi says he’ll be fishing by himself to avoid contact with people.

“There is no better social distancing than being in a boat,” Hafner said. “You’re contained, you obviously know who you’re with.”

Gov. Tim Walz took time in his press briefing Friday to wish anglers luck.

“It’s not the usual one but you can still get out close to home, wet a line, and if you don’t have any luck, you can get some good stories,” he said.

More fishing licenses have been purchased this year than in at least two decades.

To watch the orignal story and see related reporting, follow the link to the WCCO-TV website.

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