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Fishing: Area opener a ray of sunshine

While anglers undoubtedly remember fishing openers past marked by snow, sleet and freezing temperatures, they will fondly recall Saturday for just the opposite reasons.

Sun-dappled waters and mid-summer temperatures greeted anglers who shoved off for Minnesota's 2017 opener on area lakes.

Kandiyohi County-area anglers donned sunscreen, not thermal underwear, to gear up on Saturday and their luck was just as good with the fish as it was with the forecast.

On Big Kandi, crappies were in abundant supply with nice catches of walleye and some Northern Pike reaching 35 to 38 inches, said Kandiyohi County Park No. 1 manager Bud Groen, now in his 30th year at the park.

Turnout was about average on the lake and camping numbers were down, which Groen said may have been due to farmers still busy with field work.

"It was a very good Saturday, a little slower on Sunday," Groen said. "But it was a good opener."

On Big Kandi East, the public access was packed and vehicles were parking on the roadway, said Kandiyohi County Park No. 2 manager Mike Roe.

Camping numbers were also up, he said, noting that the campground is typically quiet during opening weekend.

The catch was good, too, with plenty of walleye taken in the 16-inch to 20-inch range, Roe said.

"They did very well out here," Roe said. "Fishing was very good, good camping. Life is good."

Ditto on Green Lake, said Laura Anfinson, in her 13th year managing Kandiyohi County Park No. 5 and 19th with the county overall.

Anglers were taking walleyes and a lot of panfish found their way into the well, she said.

Camping numbers also were up, she said.

"It was busy," Anfinson said. "I think the sun brought everyone out."

Tom Larson

Tom Larson is the sports editor of the West Central Tribune.

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