WI anglers prep for fishing season opener

Published: May. 6, 2022 at 9:02 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Saturday is opening day for general fishing season in Wisconsin. Whether you’re an experienced angler or want to try and cast a line for the first time, a local pro shop can help you wade through all the choices when it comes to bait and tackle.

Mike Thomas is the manager at Dorn Outdoor Pro Shop off Midvale Blvd in Madison and said opening weekend is always the busiest of the year for their shop.

He recommends buying your gear early this year. Supply chain shortages mean they’ll sell out of popular items fast and may not be able to restock them for months.

“The reason why we have a good selection now is we’ve been trying to build up our inventory throughout our entire winter, that way we would have stuff to sell during the summer. Certain items do sell out and they’re going to be hard to replace during the summer,” said Thomas.

He also said not to be intimidated if you’re new to the sport, adding that his goal is to teach every customer something new.

“When you come to a smaller shop like ours everyone that works here is a fisherman. We fish for everything out there, whether it’s muskies, blue gills, you name it, and we go out and catch it. We have firsthand knowledge on where to fish, what fish are biting what time of year and what lures to use,” said Thomas.

Thomas also recommends budgeting in extra time for travel this weekend, especially if you’re going up north, as the roads always get busy. He said you may also want to wake up early to avoid peak hours at boat launches, which are usually between 9:30 a.m. and noon.

His biggest tip for smooth sailing is to arrive prepared and make sure your boat is ready to launch before you back it into the water.

“There’s going to be a lot of people that don’t have their stuff ready and that can really delay a lot of people getting into the water. So, before you get in line, get everything ready on your boat to help everyone hit the water just a little bit faster,” said Thomas.

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