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Hockey Day is coming to Bemidji; 13th annual event set for winter 2019

Fishing opener: Chilly temperatures greet anglers

Darla Lick and her brother, Daryl Aderman Jr., didn't have much luck fishing by the Mississippi River bridge Saturday morning. Pioneer Photo/Laurie Swenson

The 2009 fishing opener was cold and unproductive for some local anglers Saturday morning.

Daryl Aderman Jr. donned a pair of hip waders to go fishing near the Mississippi River bridge, but by noon he had yet to catch a fish.

His sister, Darla Lick, who casted from shore, also hadn't had any luck.

"Last year was nice," she said. "I had three in 15 minutes."

They had also fished just after midnight Saturday, when the opener officially began, with the same results.

"Last night I had a couple bites," Aderman said, adding that he'd had only one bite Saturday.

"People in the boats we talked to, they ain't catching anything either," Lick said.

Game warden Stacey Sharp, who stopped by to check their licenses, said he was seeing similar results from other anglers.

"A lot of people were fishing last night at midnight, but I didn't see lots of fish caught," he said, adding that so far everyone had been in compliance with fishing and boating regulations.

At Ruttger's Birchmont Lodge, assistant general manager Joel Jackson said early Saturday afternoon that he hadn't seen many boats on Lake Bemidji.

"It's normally very busy (on the opener)," he said. "I think the weather is a contributing factor. I would not want to be out in a boat right now."

Temperatures were in the upper 30s Saturday morning.

Mike Haanpaa and Dan Smith spent a few hours on Lake Irving, but came back cold and empty-handed.

"We had a couple little bites," Haanpaa said. "We talked to one group that had one (fish)."

Karl Draheim chose to fish off the dock on Lake Bemidji near the waterfront park. After coming up empty at midnight, he tried again later Saturday morning.

"I'm down here just to see if I can catch anything," Draheim said after an hour of fishing. "I've been coming up here for about four years and this is the worst it's been. ... We were out here at midnight and there wasn't anybody catching anything -- one or two northerns, but other than that, you got skunked."