May 10, 2023 | By: Justin Othoudt

Northwoods Experience: DNR, Area Businesses Give Advice to Anglers for Upcoming Fishing Opener

Fishing is one of the many great pastimes Minnesotans can enjoy during the spring. With fishing opener set for Saturday, May 13th, local organizations are giving valuable pieces of advice, some practical:

“We’re thinking safety first and foremost,” said DNR Brainerd Area Fisheries Supervisor Marc Bacigalupi. “Being dressed for the weather correctly, and watching that forecast for any kind of weather situations that could be arising.”

And some philosophical:

“Just have patience, be nice, we’re all out there fishing, we’re all having fun, it just goes a lot better if everybody’s in a good mood,” said Will Pappenfus, a sales associate at Northwoods Bait & Tackle in Bemidji.

All the advice is meant to prepare anglers for their next northwoods experience.

“Fishing opener is a great tradition where it’s not just about the fishing,” said Bacigalupi. “It’s about getting back together with some old friends or family they haven’t seen in a while.”

With opening quickly approaching, one of the key factors of preparation is ensuring everyone has their fishing license, and luckily, several organizations have streamlined the process so anglers can get right out on the lake.

“It’s really easy in Minnesota to get your fishing license these days, you can just do it on our [DNR] website for one thing, we also have a list of, what we call our ELS [Electronic License System] vendors where they do sell those licenses,” said Bacigalupi.

“Get them early, be set, be prepared, don’t wait till the last minute like a lot of us do, I know I’m guilty of it myself once in a while,” joked Pappenfus, “But just make sure you’re all set, prepared and ready to go.”

However anglers prepare for the opener, the weekend is sure to mark another season full of fishing fun in the land of 10,000 lakes.

“We had a late spring and it’s great to see people getting out again, I know we’ve had a lot of rain days here lately but the sun finally came out, the minnows are starting to trap, so I think we’re in store for a good opener,” said Pappenfus.

Additionally, the DNR has urged anglers to clean, drain, and dry all fishing equipment after their use to ensure aquatic invasive species don’t spread.

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