Walleye for mom? Fishing opener and Mother's Day coincide – again


Thinking of getting that special someone a fishing license for Mother's Day?

Well, she actually won't need one – at least not this weekend.

In Minnesota, letting moms fish for free on Mother's Day weekend isn't just a good idea, it's the law.

Exempting mothers from the license requirement is a transparent attempt to make up for a bitter scheduling reality: on the day that's dedicated to mom, half a million or so Minnesotans will be "gone fishin'."

As Hometown Focus explained a few years back, the Mother's Day/fishing opener double-up used to be rare for Minnesota. But the Legislature's 1989 change putting the opener two Saturdays before Memorial Day weekend (instead of the Saturday closest to May 15) made it the norm.

A DNR official tells WCCO the change was not meant to impinge on Mother's Day. It's just that "walleyes bite better early in the season," Pete Takash tells the station.

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Hometown Focus points out that Minnesota's resort industry had something to do with the change, too.

These days some resorts present themselves as places where mom can have a pampered getaway, while dad is out fishing.

Make no mistake, though, there are moms who will feel like like walleye widows this weekend.

2016 will be one of the few years when Minnesota is spared from this calendar coincidence.

Sportsman's Blog calculated that after next year there will be a six-year wait before Mother's Day and the fishing opener fall on different weekends ... and then an 11-year wait before it happens again.

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