May 10, 2019 | By: Anthony Scott

Bemidji Area Lakes In Good Condition For The Fishing Opener

Tomorrow is the day that anglers across Minnesota have been waiting for as the walleye and northern pike fishing season finally opens.

“Almost a half a million people will be on the lakes tomorrow regardless of the weather,” Paul Nelson, owner of Bemidji Area Lakes Guide Service, said. “It looks like it will be a little bit windy, slight chance of rain, but the people will show up regardless.”

Herds of people will populate Minnesota’s lakes tomorrow in the search of that first walleye or northern pike of the season. Most docks should be ready to go on the public accesses because of the early thaw we had this year.

“The accesses are open, they are putting in the docks on the major lakes,” Gary Barnard, Bemidji Area fishing supervisor, said. “There may be a few lakes that may be lagging behind, but they do their best to get them in.”

The fish population in many of the area lakes is looking good, and Bemidji should be a popular destination for many anglers looking for walleye.

“We’ve got a lot of healthy lakes, some of the best walleye lakes in the country, let alone Minnesota,” Nelson said. “So, we are pretty lucky to live here.”

Now, the weather has been cooler than average for this time of year, and that will affect how where you’re going to find the fish once the season opens.

“Start shallow,” Nelson said. “They could be in four to eight feet of water, maybe 10 feet early in the day. Fishing pressure will move them out deeper.”

“Walleye and pike are just done spawning, and they are probably still in pretty shallow water due to these cool temperatures,” Barnard said.

Those cold temperatures also mean that anglers should take extra precaution when out on the water.

“Be safe out there, the water is still very cold,” Barnard said. “People should be wearing their life jackets and watching out for wind and things like that. So, just be safe.”

Patience is key when fishing, and the DNR wants to remind everyone to be patient tomorrow as many people may be putting their boats into the water for the first time. Whether your an expert or a beginner, tomorrow should be a great day for fishing.

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