ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Opener yields mixed results for anglers

Despite the fair weather Saturday, anglers in the area shared few good fishing reports with area bait and tackle businesses over the weekend. Sunday activity was almost non-existent as a cold rain put a damper on outdoor activities. While reports...

Ryu Helmer reels in a fish Saturday from the docks at the Bar Harbor Supper Club during the Lil’ Frys Fishing Contest on fishing opener. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video)
Ryu Helmer reels in a fish Saturday from the docks at the Bar Harbor Supper Club during the Lil’ Frys Fishing Contest on fishing opener. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video)

Despite the fair weather Saturday, anglers in the area shared few good fishing reports with area bait and tackle businesses over the weekend.

Sunday activity was almost non-existent as a cold rain put a damper on outdoor activities.

While reports were spotty in the Brainerd lakes area, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton had good guidance on his side as he caught nine walleyes on the opener on Lake Vermilion. He and his boat crew, including Vermilion fishing guide Buck Lescarbeau, Majority Leader Tom Bakk, and Speaker Kurt Daudt all caught a good number of walleyes to kick off the season.

Here's how things looked from a few area bait and tackle businesses.

S & W Bait

ADVERTISEMENT

Sherre Wicktor, owner of S & W Bait in Brainerd said the walleye fishing was a little tough going.

"(Saturday) most were getting walleyes from 13 to 18 feet," Wicktor said.

She heard reports from Gull Lake, North Long, Pelican and the Whitefish Chain. Most were not as good as people were expecting.

Business was good Friday and Saturday, but the wet and cool conditions sent most anglers home.

Most fish were of average size, she added. Bait has been steadily arriving all day long.

Bait Box Marina

Reports were slow fishing from the Bait Box in Crosslake. Peter Christenson, manager said those targeting small northerns found an abundance on the Whitefish Chain.

The walleyes that were caught seemed to be on the Pine River convergence, Christenson said.

ADVERTISEMENT

"There's a lot of people attempting to fish," Christenson said. "Hopefully, in a couple weeks things will turn around and the fishing will heat up."

It was reported the Whitefish Chain had a fair number of anglers out on Saturday, but certainly not crowded.

Tutt's Bait & Tackle

"It was a decent weekend," Beau Erickson of Tutt's Bait & Tackle said of fishing on Mille Lacs Lake.

He heard of one group of four coming through caught their limit. Mille Lacs Lake's new limit this season is one walleye a day.

A report from a group that fished all day Saturday was that walleyes were hitting from 6 feet to 34 feet of water.

Corner Store Depot

At the Corner Store Depot on County 18, south of Sylvan Lake, the only reports were those of anglers looking for a report.

ADVERTISEMENT

Next Governor's Fishing Opener set for Big Sandy Lake

Among the excitement of Saturday's festivities at Lake Vermilion was the announcement of next year's location.

Next year's Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener will be on Big Sandy Lake in the McGregor area, May 12-14. This will be the first time in the history of the Governor's Fishing Opener that the event will be held there.

Explore Minnesota, the state's tourism promotion office, organizes this event each year in coordination with a host community. The 69th annual Governor's Fishing Opener will be hosted by the McGregor Area Chamber of Commerce, with Big Sandy Lake Lodge & Resort as headquarters.

"The McGregor and Big Sandy Lake area is a premier Minnesota travel destination," said John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota. "The Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener will help even more travelers discover the natural beauty and charm of this northern Minnesota community."

Located two hours north of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, McGregor prides itself on "celebrating small town pride with big town heart." The area is known for its natural attractions and outdoor recreation opportunities, including the Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Savanna Portage State Park. Resorts and campgrounds line the shores of Big Sandy Lake, which spans 6,000 acres and is home to various species of fish including walleye, smallmouth and rock bass, northern pike, muskie and more.

Big Sandy Lake Lodge & Resort is situated on Davis Bay, on the south shore of Big Sandy Lake, 9 miles north of McGregor.

For more photos of the Lil' Frys Fishing Contest go to goo.gl/I7iOOd

Governor Mark Dayton displays his first walleye of the day during the Governor's Fishing Opener on Lake Vermilion with his guide Buck Lescarbeau at his side. Photo courtesy of the State of Minnesota.
Governor Mark Dayton displays his first walleye of the day during the Governor's Fishing Opener on Lake Vermilion with his guide Buck Lescarbeau at his side. Photo courtesy of the State of Minnesota.

What To Read Next
Former Brainerd Warrior Olivia King is enjoying her senior season as a member of the University of Minnesota Gopher women's hockey team.
The Central Lakes College Raiders traveled to Ely to face Vermilion.
The Central Lakes College Raiders landed six student-athletes on Elite Team
Quigley enjoyed a big week for CLC.