MINNEAPOLIS - There's a big jump in the number of fishing licenses sold this year ahead of the fishing opener and the hook, officials said, is the weather.

"Last year we had sold 80,000 fewer licenses, because there was ice on more lakes," said Pete Takash, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

While Takash headed up to the governor's fishing opener in Nisswa on Gull Lake he said less ice this year, along with a pretty decent forecast for the weekend has helped sales.

Last year's number of licenses sold at this time totaled right around 172,000, so far this year the total is 252,000.

"Generally speaking we have about 500,000 people go out on the opener, we sell over all about 1.2 million licenses each year and those numbers stay fairly consistent," said Takash.

But who knows after a long winter, maybe anglers are in for a long summer and maybe fishing license sales will beat official estimates, wouldn't that be a fish tale the DNR would like to tell.