Cold weather this spring causes concern for Minnesota’s fishing opener

Cold weather this spring causes concern for Minnesota's fishing opener
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 7:35 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - For many Minnesotans, the fishing opener is a yearly tradition and an annual sign of spring.

But this year, some lakes look a little different than usual and anglers are worried.

“They see ice out here and snow, and they’re asking, what’s the lake conditions, are we going to be able to get out there,” said Jay Schelde, owner of Pike Bay Lodge.

Jay Schelde has owned the lodge on Lake Vermilion for almost 20 years, but this year he saw a first.

“I have not seen the ice this thick, this late, and that’s a fact,” said Schelde.

He’s getting calls from his regular customers who are concerned the lake won’t be ice-free in time for the fishing opener.

Right now, Pike Bay is covered in ice that’s 22 to 26 inches thick.

According to Schelde, a delayed fishing opener could affect many businesses in the area including gas stations, restaurants, and of course fishing guides.

“Most fishing guides, we enjoy meeting people, it’s a special job,” Denny Van de Linde said.

Van de Linde has been a fishing guide at Lake Vermilion since 2003.

He knows even if it does melt in time, longer ice coverage can delay the spawn and leave the fish less active, which could change the way anglers fish.

“Shallow water fishing is what I recommend,” said Van de Linde.

This year, Minnesota’s fishing opener is set for May 14.

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