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Lakes Open For Fishing, Bait Shortage Is Not Over - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Lakes Open For Fishing, Bait Shortage Is Not Over

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Many fishermen and women have been waiting all year long to get out their poles... And hit the water, and tonight at midnight. Minnesota lakes are open for business. While you're packing up your gear you might run into some trouble buying live bait.

"It's nice to be able and get out, hopefully the weather is nice and everything like that, but you know it's nice that ice is off the water finally," says one fisherman.

This weekend many are making a stop here at Fargo Bait and Tackle, but more customers don’t necessarily mean business is good.

"The last two years the ice has been really hard on the bait business," says Beverly Goula with Fargo Bait and Tackle.

Beverly Gould has been running this shop in Fargo since 1977, and she says the past couple of years have been the worst for live bait she has ever seen.

"The fisherman are having a heck of a time, and we're having a heck of a time trying to make the fishermen happy."

Last year they had an extremely short leach season, and this year they can't get their hands on all the bait they would like.

But, even in this tough spot Beverly is counting her blessings that they buy most of their bait in North Dakota.

"We haven't had the shortage they have had in Minnesota, because Minnesota, they had all the bad weather and the freezing," says Beverly.

Shiners, one of fishermen favorites come from Minnesota lakes, and the DNR says they are going to be hard to find this year.

"They are having problems getting the shiners, getting the suckers, like I said if they are musky fishing or going after pike," says Beverly.

She says leach and shiner prices are going up, and she suggests crawlers are what you want hanging from your hook. The price of crawlers has been pretty consistent.

"Hopefully next year it will be a whole lot better," says Beverly.

"You have to get out there no matter if it is raining or snowing, just to get out," says an eager fisherman.

Beverly says the shortage of bait is not only affecting fishermen, but she says this time of year fish are hungry, and depend on the bait to help feed them.
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