Fishing Opener memories to be much different this year

By Jed “Big Musky” Buelow

Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor, Sports and Nature Editor

Looking back as an avid angler, there were few times when greater memories were made than on the opener of Wisconsin’s inland fishing season.

After a long, cold winter boats are taken out of storage and put back in the water. Family gathers and neighbors return to open cabins for the season. For many, the opener is about so much more than just the fishing. It’s about starting back up a way of life that makes punching the clock five days a week worth-while. In a sense, it is as close to heaven for many as one can get while still here on earth.

Unfortunately this season will be much different. Friends and family will not be making the trip north. The docks and boats that typically are put in will remain in storage. The memories that would have been made on the water and around the campfire at the end of the day will have to wait as we adhere to guidelines aimed at stemming a pandemic. And the sting is visceral.

But at the same time it is understandable. Because someday I want to again make fishing opener memories similar to those experienced in the past, and that simply could not happen if those we care about the most are not around to make them with. A father or grandfather with an affliction for perch, a buddy that has spent many a summer chasing musky or bass, these are the reasons this opener must be different. When the subject is raised whether the cost is worth the sacrifice, I feel a real sadness for those who would even suggest the question.

I think this opener will be looked back upon as the one that was sacrificed so someday down the road we can relive those great memories we once made. Drinking a beer with the neighbor from the cabin down the road while catching up on life over the past several months or hitting the water at the crack of dawn to be the first to get in on the bite. These things will happen again.

Hopefully down the road this experience will teach us to truly appreciate and realize how blessed we are to get to fish and make memories with friends and family especially on the opener. Good luck to everyone heading out. Make it a memorable one even if it is not on the water spending time with family and friends.

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