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Letter: Go fishing: Declare your independence

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This Fourth of July, I encourage you to declare your independence from the taxations of life by launching a patriotic action.

Go fishing!

It’s as American and Minnesotan as apple pie and the state fair.

An army of others have already enlisted. Join them. Do so by fighting the urge to mow the lawn, weed the garden or organize the jetsam and flotsam into garage sale piles. These things can wait. A summer fishing trip can’t.

I say this because too often we surrender to some self-imposed guilt. This concession simply kicks the can of fond memories further down the road. Kick that can too often and you’ll find yourself scratching your head in September wondering where the summer went. That won’t feel good and you’ll regret missing out.

So strike back. Arm yourself with rod, reel and bait and launch your fight on the water by boat or foot. You will prevail. You can’t lose. Even a bad day of fishing is darn good.

Recently, my son and pals and I drove north to the Boundary Waters for a quick fishing trip. Was it work? Yes, a bit. But, we caught fish, and we canoed and we had a wonderful time. For years to come, this memory will blink on and off in our lives like the twinkling of the fireflies we also enjoyed. It will shine again for us all when we gather in the kitchen, dredge walleye fillets through seasoned crumbs and plop them in a frying pan.

Though we traveled the north, do know that Minnesota offers good fishing in almost every corner. In central Minnesota, the walleye bite has been good on Lake Mille Lacs and the other “Big Six.” Many northern lakes were locked in ice when the fishing season began. They have been fished less than normal because of the late ice-out and cold rainy spring. Fish are still there. You should be too.

So get a fishing license and get out. You’ll discover there’s a magic in Minnesota’s waters. More importantly, you’ll discover the freedom that comes from staring at the water rather than your watch. And you should take a moment to enjoy the freedoms we celebrate as part of this Great American Holiday!

Tom Landwehr

DNR commissioner

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