For years, Mille Lacs Lake has been the center of controversy. Walleye restrictions have been in place, with local businesses saying that the restrictions are killing the tourism business.

What's being overlooked by some - but not all - is the abundance of smallmouth bass in Mille Lacs Lake (or Lake Mille Lacs, depending on your vernacular).

Largemouth bass get most of the bass attention, but smallmouth bass can be better eatin' than their bigger-mouthed cousins. Depending on diet, largemouth bass can taste a bit...muddy? I grew up near a lake that was big on largemouth bass, but not smallmouth. I remember having to fry and doctor up the largemouth bass to make them edible...or just get drunk. That was expensive, so lots of spices had to suffice.

So if you're looking to be gone fishin' on fishing opener (May 12th), try challenging yourself by going for smallmouth bass instead of walleye. Any excuse for a fish fry, because they rule!

H/T: Pine And Lakes Echo Journal