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Fishing opener is not on Mother’s Day, but Take-a-Mom fishing event is

The opening of spring fishing is an unofficial Minnesota holiday, dubbed “The Opener.” The season typically falls on the same weekend as Mother’s Day. However, this year that is not the case.

Minnesota’s fishing opener for walleye, bass, trout in lakes and northern pike is May 15. Minnesota statute sets the fishing opener as the Saturday two weeks prior to the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. This year, with Memorial Day the latest it can be, on May 31, that puts the fishing opener on Saturday, May 15.

There is a special event each year on Mother’s Day weekend, the “Take a Mom Fishing Weekend.” This is something that does fall on Mother’s Day, under Minnesota statutes. So this year, “Take a Mom Fishing” falls on the weekend before the opener, on Saturday and Sunday, May 8-9.

So although moms can’t fish for walleye or lake trout in lakes, they can stream fish or seek fish that are available now, such as crappie or perch.

WTIP spoke with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Program Consultant Jon Hansen, who pointed out that there is an error in the printed version of the Minnesota Fishing Regulations book regarding the dates for the 2021 Take a Mom Fishing Weekend. Hansen stressed that the correct dates for the 2021 Take a Mom Fishing Weekend—when Minnesota-resident moms can fish without purchasing a license—are Saturday, May 8, to Sunday, May 9.

Fishing season dates, and the corrected Minnesota Fishing Regulations handbook, are available online. Anyone with questions may also call the Grand Marais fisheries office at 218-387-6021.