Ready, Set, Fish
After being cooped up inside for the past month and a half, this past weekend’s fishing opener was a breath of fresh air for tons of Minnesotans.
To keep fishermen and women healthy, Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sarah Strommen urges anglers to use good judgment when choosing where to fish this season.
“While we want people to enjoy outdoor activity to maintain health and wellbeing, we’re asking anglers to forgo travel to their favorite fishing spot and instead fish close to home to contain the spread of COVID-19. We also want to remind anglers to maintain social distancing at boat landings,” she said.
The DNR has said long-distance fishing travel is discouraged, but it’s not illegal and anglers won’t be ticketed.
Since local fishermen and women should stay close to home, whom better to talk to than Gary Snyder, owner of Snyder Lures in Dodge Center, who has worked in fishing lure business in southeastern Minnesota since 1983.
He said Dodge County doesn’t have as many lakes and ponds for fishing as the Twin Cities or northern Minnesota.
What this area lacks in quantity, it makes up for with a wide of variety of fish that can be caught without driving more than an hour away.
The closest spot for Dodge County residents is Mantorville Bridge, which he said is a good spot to catch big carp and rock bass.
The next closest is Foster-Arend Lake, located just east of Rochester on Highway 14. Snyder says Rainbow-German Brown Trout can be caught there.
Zumbro Lake is another lake that’s not too far away just a few miles northeast of Oronoco and he said it has a few varieties of fish, including bass, crappie, perch and pike.
If Dodge County residents are willing to drive a little farther away, he said the Faribault area lakes have walleye, crappies, perch, bluegill and northerns. French Lake, which is about 13 miles northwest of Faribault, also has muskies.
“The Faribault area lakes are real good fishing lakes,” Snyder said.
In the other direction, there’s also a good population of walleyes at Lake Byllesby near Cannon Falls.
Wherever Dodge County residents go to fish, the weather conditions should be favorable as meteorologists are anticipating sunny skies this Thursday and Friday as well as early next week.
Conditions have also been favorable for Snyder since his business was allowed to open its doors again.
“Business is good now that the bait shops were allowed to re-open just within the last couple of weeks,” he said. “Regardless of the weather, sales etc., we produce fishing lures 12 months out of the year. Winter ice fishing is our premier time for business but our lures are designed for year-round use.”
He added that his best-selling lures are the big shakers.
For those looking for lures for a specific type of fish, he recommends lures size eight and 10 for walleyes and 12 and 14 for panfish.
People interested in learning more about fishing lures can visit Snyder Lures, which is located at 301 1st Avenue in Dodge Center, call them at (507) 374-2955 or visit www.snyderslures.com.