It's the final countdown.
The to-do list is long and the days are limited before the clock strikes midnight on Friday (actually, 12:01 a.m. Saturday).
The fishing opener in Minnesota is a tradition like no other, and I would guess that after this awesome rain we just received, the nightcrawler pickers will be out in numbers.
Opening day sure does bring back memories for me - sleeping in the rundown "mouse house" (fish house) on the east side of Lake Mille Lacs, waiting for daylight so we could get after the walleyes.
Although I have grown older and gotten a little smarter (this could be debated), I still think back to how special those days were and how excited I was for opening day.
Back then, I got excited for opening day at Met Stadium for the Minnesota Twins' opener, too, but fishing is my most anticipated "opener."
As the guide for the governor in last year's Governor's Opener on Pelican Lake, last year was a special opener for me. But this year, it will be nice to slip the boat in and not be chased from spot to spot by those hungry photographers. This year's Governor's Opener is on White Bear Lake and I hope they get a good day with at least one walleye.
I haven't decided where I will drop my first line, but I am thinking it will be on Gull Lake. Before that can happen, many things need to get done.
I finally did land a boat. I will be going back to my roots and running a tiller model walleye boat - a Triton ('07) 202 (fiberglass) with a 150 mercury. I need to have a bracket installed on the stern so I can get a trolling motor mounted and then have Wave Wackers installed. I will look at mounting a trolling motor on the bow as well. It was wired for Lowrance electronics, so that should be easy.
Back to the to-do list: I need to re-spool all my reels, dust off the long rods, rig all of my rods, load the boat with all the necessities, mount rod holders, put advertising in place, get license stickers installed, get the garage at the shop cleaned out and the minnow tank functioning, find some juicy bait, buy a new fishing license, stop at Mills Fleet Farm to pick up the last-minute goods (hooks, jigs and the like). And these are just the fishing-related things on the list. I will spare you the other list - it is longer and more broad.
Now I'm thinking back to the days when Dad did everything and all I had to do was hop in the boat with my new, fancy rod and reel and wait for a bite. Wow, was it easy back then.
I wish all of you a safe and successful season on the open waters of our Minnesota lakes and rivers.
On a different note - my daughter's first turkey hunt - she had the safety off and the barrel pointed to the edge of the brush, but the buggers never came into the clearing. She was shaking pretty good with a case of "Gobbler Fever." I'll be heading out in a couple of weeks and will try to give you a recap of that trip. I've heard some awesome success stories from the turkey woods this spring. It sounds like the population has taken hold.
WALLEYEDAN Eigen may be reached at (218) 839-5598, walleyedan@brainerd. com or www.walleyedan.com.
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