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Hundreds flock to Hayward for 2021 Wisconsin fishing opener

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HAYWARD, WI -- With last year's Governor's Fishing Opener events canceled, many anglers were excited to finally return to Hayward's freshwater fishing hall of fame this year.

Mindy Simons works who works with the Hayward lakes and visitors bureau says last year's cancellation was disappointing, but she is excited
to see hundreds from across the state in her city.

"It's a great way to showcase our beautiful lakes and get people excited
for fishing, the opener as a whole is almost like a holiday," said Simons.

Simons says she is most excited for the fish fry paid for by local

RELATED: Hayward gears up for Wisconsin Governor’s Fishing Opener April 30

She says along with the free fish fry, she is happy to see dozens of resorts and vendors at the celebration Friday.

"We are here representing all eleven resorts on Nelson lake," said resort owner John Welter.

Welter has been managing those 11 resorts for the last 30 years
which has kept him busy.

"I actually don't fish at all, the reason is being a resort owner I have to work every day," said Welter.

Longtime angler JB Ellis who calls himself "an above-average angler" is also happy to see so many people at Friday's celebration.

He says he is looking forward to Saturday's warm forecast, adding that 2021's opener should be one for the record books.

"I think it's going to be dynamite tomorrow, the water temperature is 47 degrees and I think we are going to be getting the pan-fishing bite, but for those walleye fishermen it's going to be really good," said Ellis.

Ellis suggests to those headed in for fishing extravaganza, to come early.

"If you're coming to Hayward, get here early because the boat landings last year were saturated by 8:30 a.m. It's going to be busy."

Starting Saturday most fish will be legal to catch in Wisconsin inland lakes.

For Wisconsin DNR rules and regulations click here.

Meteorologist Alex Libby

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