By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s a bit of a quandry: where to go fishing this year for the state’s Fishing Opener. Should you travel far? For some, the natural call is to the north, but this year it’s different.

“You also have that city-country thing going on, where the locals don’t necessarily want all kinds of city people coming up because of the infection thing, and yet the money is needed,” fishing guide Steve Carney said.

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The party line so far has been for you to change your ways, and stay close to home.

“We do expect people to be out but we’re asking people to find places close to home and to find places that aren’t crowded. And I think we can do that. We know in Minnesota that we’re very fortunate, we have a lot of outdoor spaces,” Minnesota Department of Natural Resources commissioner Sarah Strommen said.

Does that mean if you live in the metro, you should fish in the area? Obviously, if people in the metro area were told to stay close to home, the metro area lakes would be getting a lot of action.

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That’s one reason why Carney wouldn’t advise for those in the metro to necessarily stay close to home.

“I couldn’t stand the insanity, because everybody is going to stay close and they’re going to pound these lakes, and they’ve already been hit hard over the years,” he said. “You’re going to be the 14th or 15th trailer in line to put your boat in, and I just couldn’t handle it.”

What he would do if catching fish was the goal, more than just the act of fishing, would be to head where the water is warmer, which in this state means western Minnesota, where Carney says 20 degrees makes a huge difference.

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If you are serious about the game of fishing, patience is not a virtue, not during the opener, not ever. Carney said that if he’s not catching anything in a lake within an hour in a half, and then he always moves.

Mike Max