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Chelsea Richter and her daughters Skylyn, 6, Koryl, 2, and Faith, 9, were getting the boat ready for Saturday’s fishing opener. (Contributed)

Fishing and family

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Fishing and family
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Minnesota’s walleye fishing opener usually collides with Mother’s Day during the same weekend in May.

Most moms tolerate it and most folks do their best to split their weekend between fishing and mom.

0 Talk about it

However, there are at least three local women who are actually delighted that the fishing opener and Mother’s Day mesh the same weekend.

Meet Sam Lindquist, Alicia Morrissette and Chelsea Richter – moms who’d rather be fishing than brunching on Mother’s Day.


‘We’re a fishing family’

Alicia Morrissette, 28, of Garfield grew up in a fishing boat.

“My dad would take us out in this little rinky-dink aluminum boat when I was little and we had this little 9 horsepower motor. None of that mattered, you know? We couldn’t go very far, but any time he took us out, we loved it,” she said.

“That fueled my love for fishing and ever since then, I’ve loved it. The main excitement is what’s on the other end of your line. Because you can’t see it until it comes up to the boat. Catching the next big one is what you’re hoping for.

She married a man who loves fishing and now, she said, “We’re a fishing family.”

Alicia and her husband, Nate, have two sons, Jack, 6, and Cole, 8.

How does she feel about sharing Mother’s Day with the fishing opener?

“I don’t mind at all because it’s something I look forward to,” she said. “As a mom on Mother’s Day, I think the main thing mothers want is to be with their family and their children. That’s one of the best parts of fishing – it’s the family time.”

Despite lines getting tangled from time to time and kids sometimes getting bored, Alicia said, “The look on their faces when they catch something big is just amazing.”

Alicia’s advice to fellow moms: “Even if a mom doesn’t usually go fishing, I would encourage them to get out and just go with. I remember when my mom would come with us [fishing] and the proud look she would have on her face. It’s priceless to us. There’s something special about your mom’s look of approval when you catch something. That was big for me when I was little.”


‘You get to be with your family’

Sam Lindquist, 29, lives near Ashby and she’s been fishing forever.

“I remember fishing as a kid with my grandpa and my dad. It picked up significantly when I met my husband and his dad was a big fisherman, too – the whole family is,” she said.

She enjoys being out in a boat on Mother’s Day.

“It doesn’t bother me at all. What would I rather be doing? Fishing. So, what do I want to do for Mother’s Day? It’s kind of a no-brainer – yup, we’re going to be in the boat. You get to be with your family and you might get fresh fish for supper.”

Sam and her husband, Karl, have two sons – Trent, 6, and Issac, 2.

Sam said, “The Saturday of fishing opener is dedicated to me and my husband – no kids – it’s just the two of us fishing.

“Then, if fishing is good, we’ll bring Trent out. I remember a Mother’s Day that the walleye weren’t biting, but the crappies were so we took the pontoon out with my parents, his parents, my sisters – it was Mother’s Day and everybody was out and we were crappie fishing.”

What is it about fishing that she loves?

Sam said, “You never know what you’re going to catch. It’s just being out on the water – the waves, the sun, the scenery, it’s all enjoyable. And now with the kids, watching them catch fish – they say, ‘I got one! I got one!’”

She said what she wants most is for her kids’ kids to come back to the community, go fishing and spend that time with their parents making memories too.

“And it’s the stories… you gotta have a good fishing story,” she said.


‘Calm and relaxing out there’

Chelsea Richter of Hoffman also loves fishing.

“Fishing has always been a part of my life ever since I can remember,” she said.

“My most favorite memory is when I was a teenager, my dad and I entered the Father’s Day tournament on Lake Adley and I won $100 for the biggest northern. I was so proud of myself for being able to catch it without any help from my dad,” she said. The lunker northern was longer than she was tall.

Now that she has children – Faith, 9, Skylyn, 6, and Koryl, 2 – Chelsea said, “To me, there is nothing better than going out in the boat with my family and casting a line out while enjoying each other’s company any day, even Mother’s Day! To me, it’s an added bonus that Minnesota’s [fishing] opener is on Mother’s Day weekend.”

Chelsea said she enjoys fishing Pine Island Lake with her fiancé Nicolas Lemm’s family and Lake Oscar is one of her favorite lakes.

“It’s very calm and relaxing out there,” she said.

Chelsea said the family is usually fishing for panfish or walleye, “…unless I’m visiting my family in Iowa, where we fish for catfish in the Mississippi River.”

Last weekend, Chelsea and her daughters were helping get the boat ready for this weekend’s fishing opener.

“I really hope that my girls being raised fishing helps them have patience, make great memories and have the love of fishing that we have so they can pass it on to their children as well,” she said.

Amy Chaffins
Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.
(320) 763-3133