Minnesotans take to the water for fishing opener

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The fishing opener is practically a state holiday in Minnesota, and the energy seemed to be particularly exuberant this year with COVID-19 restrictions loosening and life starting to get back to normal.

Last year the Governor’s Fishing Opener was canceled because of the pandemic, but Gov. Tim Walz was out on the water in Otter Tail County on Saturday enjoying the event.

"This year it’s great again. People are excited to be back together again, excited to hold the event," Walz said. "We’re still making sure we’re doing it within the COVID-safe guidelines."

More than half a million Minnesotans are expected to head out on the water this weekend for the 2021 fishing opener. Last year the pandemic drove license sales to a 20-year-high, and the Department of Natural resources expects the sport to be just as popular this year.

Jaxon Dogan, 9, was fishing for just the second time ever today and says any day with a pole in his hand is a good day.

"I haven’t caught one thing. Nobody has," Jaxon said. "Sometimes you don’t get something, sometimes you do. That’s why it’s fun for me."

One change to keep in mind this year is that both spouses have to be present to buy bundled fishing licenses.