Anglers Already Gearing up for 2012 Fishing Opener

By KBJR News 1

April 26, 2012 Updated Apr 26, 2012 at 6:21 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - For Minnesota Lieutenant Governor and Duluth resident Yvonne Prettner Solon, purchasing her state fishing license at Marine General in Duluth was a natural choice: "I come in and I buy the SmartWool socks for my son, and for myself, and look at their sporting goods equipment."

And, according to Prettner Solon, there's no better state in which to get out and wet a line.

"Minnesota is one of the greatest fishing states in our nation. We have over 11,000 lakes, and [it's] a great opportunity for families to fish, and to recreate and spend time together," said Prettner Solon.

...and that's exactly what happens every year. Fishing, which is a huge part of the state's tourism economy, helps generate $11.3 billion each year, or about $31 million each day.

"And, fishing itself has expenditures of $2.7 billion, and has an economic impact of $4.8 billion, generating actually 17% of our sales tax," said Prettner Solon.

Numbers aside, for anglers, fishing season can be summed up in one, simple statement: "Fishing is fun!"

Of course, the success of the season can't be gauged by the number of fish alone. For many, just being out in the land of 10,000 lakes is already a trophy experience.

"I think, from a tourism standpoint, if people enjoy their fishing trips, and they're happy when they leave, then that's a good thing," said Tim Campbell, of Explore Minnesota.

...just ask any of the 2 million individuals expected to wet their lines this season.

This year's Governor's Opener will be held on Lake Waconia, on the weekend of May 11th. 500,000 anglers are expected to be out on opening day alone.