By Amanda Dyslin
---- — MANKATO — Ethan Case and his mom, Gwen Case, had the right idea Friday afternoon.
The weather was awesome — sunny and warm — the optimal fishing conditions … for the humans, anyway. The fish must have been off taking a nap somewhere shady.
“I had some bites, but I missed 'em,” said Case, an eighth-grader who had heard the crappies were biting at Madison Lake.
Although unbeknownst to the Cases, or to any of the folks fishing off the pier at Hiniker Pond Friday, they were in on the start of the Department of Natural Resources' Take a Kid Fishing Weekend, which ran Friday through Sunday.
During those three days, any Minnesotan age 16 or older didn't need a fishing license while taking a child age 15 or younger fishing. That was news to some area fishermen, who — unlike the Cases — didn't get out to do any fishing until the weather took a turn toward cool and rainy Saturday morning.
“Nope, I had no idea about the Take a Kid Fishing thing,” said Gary Johnson, who was fishing with his son at Lake Washington. “That's a good event, though. It's good for parents to take their kids fishing with them, spend some time together.”
Lake Washington is where Ethan Case usually fishes with his mom, dad and grandpa. They get out every couple of weeks, about half the time on their boat.
“I'm usually going for walleyes, bass or muskie,” Ethan said. “We catch a decent amount.”
Maybe the fish just weren't hungry this weekend. Ethan wasn't the only one who didn't have much luck.
“Didn't catch a thing,” Johnson said.