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Video: Leeches a hot seller ahead of late Minnesota fishing opener

May 15, 2021 05:00AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

Photo: WDIO-TV

By Baihly Warfield of WDIO-TV - May 14, 2021 

The Minnesota Fishing Opener is an unofficial holiday. It usually coincides with another holiday: Mother's Day. But in 2021, the opener fell a week later. 

In fact, the Minnesota DNR says it is the latest possible fishing opener. Explore Minnesota said that's because it has to be two weeks before the Saturday of Memorial Day, which is also late this year, falling on May 31. 

The later opener means a shift in what people are looking for at Fisherman's Corner, the bait shop on Hwy 53 in Hermantown. 

"I would say leeches, you don't generally see a huge spike in them until about Memorial weekend," owner Matt King said. "I think with the later opener, people are really after the leeches."

He said live bait in general was flying out the door Friday. Otherwise, people were picking up jigs, bobbers, spinners and licenses. 

There was a change to combination fishing licenses in Minnesota this year. In order for a couple to purchase one, both people have to be present. If they're not, King says he'll print a voucher, and the other person can come back to redeem it and get the license. 

Debbie and Roger Anderson of Hermantown dropped by to pick up live bait before heading to the cabin. 

"We've got neighbors that we sit by the campfire with and visit, talk fish stories and whatnot," Debbie said. "Just really looking forward to the opener. Every year. Been doing this since I was little." 

The Andersons don't mind the cooler weather. They said they're just glad it's not snowing.  

"Sometimes we make a snowman on the deck on opener," Roger said.

Still, King is recommending people fish near the mouths of rivers and in shallower water. 

"Get that warmer water, get the fish a little more active, that's what I'd be looking at with your live bait right now," he said. 

The Minnesota DNR has more information about licenses and which fish seasons are open on its website. 

To see the original report and read related stories, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.
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