LAKE MINNETONKA - Get ready to reel 'em in!
Half a million Minnesotans are expected to go fishing this weekend for the Minnesota Fishing Opener, when walleye, northern pike and sauger become legal game on the state's inland waters.
"There's half a million people who can't wait to get out of work so they can go fishing tomorrow. The walleye opener is kind of like Christmas but a lot better," said Chris Gilman, a walleye fishing professional.
Despite a bitter winter most of the state's 10,000 lakes have iced-out, according to DNR's website.
"The water temperatures are a little colder. The fish are just getting to spawning on natural lakes," said Gilman, who is the winner of the 2013 National Walleye Tour Championship.
Gillman added this advice to fellow anglers who are aiming to reel in some walleye this weekend.
"I'm going to go where the females are spawning. There's going to be a lot of males hanging around, waiting for those last females to come to the shore," said Gilman, who also recommends fishing in muddy areas where newly emerging weeds are located.
"The water temperature seems to warm up there first," said Gilman.
DNR has made some changes to their walleye regulations. For instance, anglers will be allowed to keep four walleyes that are up to 20 inches long, instead of 18 inches like last year.
"It doesn't matter how many fish you catch – it's a celebration and a weekend to have fun and go fishing," said Gilman.