ST. CLOUD -- As Minnesota anglers ready themselves for this weekend's fishing opener, they may find it hard to get their hands on some of the tackle this year.

Aaron Kreller owns Stop Light Bait in east St. Cloud. He says the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the fishing industry just like everyone else. He says many of their plastics, Rapalas, fluorocarbon fishing line and Daiwa reels are all on backorder.

As for live bait, Kreller says it is a bit of a mixed bag.  He says they should be good on Shiner minnows, Fatheads, and Suckers.  But, Kreller adds that it is getting harder and harder to find jumbo leeches.  He says trappers are getting older and the younger generations aren't carrying on the trade as much as in years past.

Kreller says license sales have been steady so far but he expects a rush on licenses in the next two days.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says fishing license sales during the pandemic in 2020 came in at 498,094, up 66,175 from 2019.

Stop Light Bait will open starting at 8:00 a.m. Friday and stay open overnight into Saturday to accommodate last-minute anglers.

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