Friday, May 11, 2012
This Saturday is the official opening of sport game fishing season in Minnesota's inland lakes and rivers. Thousands will hook a boat trailer to the back of a pick-up and haul the boat and outboard to places like Mille Lacs Lake, Leech Lake, Rainy Lake or one of 9,997 other bodies of water hoping to lure, hook and land a limit of fish, hopefully a large specimen of Sander vitreus, commonly known as the "Walleye". This schooling fish is the object of such an intensive effort not because it's an enthusiastic fighter, like the acrobatic smallmouth bass but because of all the indigenous fish, it's regarded as the most flavorful. People like to eat them. They're not easy to catch. And when they are caught, it's sometimes difficult to tell if there's a fish on the end of the line or a weed. And after the fish is landed and admired, it's often, especially if it's large but not too large, returned to the water, to hopefully reproduce more walleyes. This is weird.