Minnesota's annual fishing opener is a treasured tradition that celebrates our state's great angling opportunities and signals the beginning of summer.
For serious or even halfway-serious anglers in Minnesota, the fishing opener is a sacred holiday and the unofficial beginning of summer—a day that roughly half a million anglers eagerly await each year.
Some think of it purely as the walleye opener, but the season opener includes a number of species that reside in Minnesota waters, such as northern pike, trout, and—in some areas of the state—bass. The season for sunfish, crappies, perch, channel catfish and a few less popular species is always open.
Keep reading to get the details on this year's Minnesota fishing opener and prepare to join your fellow anglers on the water this summer.
When is the 2023 Minnesota Fishing Opener?
Minnesota state statute requires the opener to occur precisely two weeks before the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. In 2023, that means the fishing opener will align with Mother’s Day weekend, May 13-14.
Fishing is a way of life across the state. So much so that there's a Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener each year, a tradition that dates back to 1948. That makes 2023 the 75th anniversary of the event, which will take place in Mankato.
The Governor's Fishing Opener was designed to improve Minnesota’s economy through the development and promotion of the state’s recreational opportunities, especially fishing. The first opener was a cooperative promotion between the state’s resort industry, media and public officials. Today, the emphasis is even broader. It celebrates the kickoff of the summer tourism season with a promotional focus on a host community as well as recreational opportunities statewide
James Riemermann is a retired writer and editor. Raised in St. Paul, he's a city boy who feels more at home in the woods. Sitting by a campfire on the shore of a quiet north woods lake is his idea of paradise.
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