Opening Weekend Walleyes

Lt Governor, Yvonne Prettner-Solon with a 21" walleye
Lt Governor, Yvonne Prettner-Solon with a 21″ walleye


Reactions were mixed when I asked the question,”How’d you do this weekend?”



“Limited out on crappies.”

“Sucked, I worked all day.”

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This boat near us netted a nice walleye.

Those were some of the responses we got on our Facebook page.  What I saw in person on Gull Lake during the Governor’s Fishing Opener, resembled much of the same.

Although you’d hear no complaints.   That could also be because we were staying at Grand View Lodge!

While Governor Dayton was shut out this year, Lt Governor, Yvonne Prettner-Solon managed to hook into two walleyes on Friday night.  The first at 12:35 AM, a 21 incher that was followed by another healthy walleye soon after.   Guide Toby Kvalavog wouldn’t give up the location or the tactic yet, but I hope to squeeze it out of him during this week’s MNSJ Radio Show.

The Governor’s Guide, Ray Gildow made up for the Governor’s lack of fish but putting Tom Brown on the biggest fish of the day, a 25″ walleye.  Christopher Glaze had a 27.5″ pike and Wayne Eddy put the biggest panfish in the boat, a 13″ crappie.  Eddy was aboard one of two handicapped accessible pontoons, this one run by Joe Holmes the founder of “Let’s Go Fishing.”  Anglers on that boat also included members of the Wounded Warriors Project.

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Bass were the hungriest fish of the day

While fishing is only part of the Governor’s Fishing Opener activities, the entire event is quite the production.  The crew at Grand View Lodge worked overtime for the last year to prepare, while the city of Nisswa shut down the main street to erect a huge tent capable of serving over 1,000 people and hosting the Gear Daddies for a live performance.  Unfortunately they had to compete with the Wild game, but organizers had that covered with 4 huge tvs inside the tent.  Explore Minnesota Tourism also puts in long, thankless hours for this each year.

The other story was the weather.   After a long, brutally cold winter and cloudy, wet spring, the sun made a glorious appearance and layers were shed quickly once we were on the water.  Fish were caught-mostly bass with a few northern and the occasional walleye, but it didn’t seem to matter.  You couldn’t dampen the spirits of these fisherman.  They were just happy to be out there.

Here are more pictures from the 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener:


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Packed and ready to go!
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Governor Dayton heads out at midnight.
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Guide Bill Mathis puts the hammer down in his Skeeter. Bill talks fishing on this week’s MNSJ Radio Show.
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Walleye Dan on the water
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This bird was such a loon.
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The Governor poses for the media
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Another nearby angler hooks into a fish.
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This looked like a good spot for October.
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You didn’t need a boat to enjoy the opener
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Whether from shore, a boat or the pier, Minnesotans got out for the opener.
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Bill Sherck came by in the DNO rig.
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Scott St Sauer, Camp Ripley Post Commander
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The lake was full of boats of all sizes on Saturday.
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