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Lakes area has hosted seven Gov. Fishing Openers

The state Governor’s Fishing Opener will be coming to the Brainerd lakes area for the seventh time in 67 years when the 2014 event will be hosted by Grand View Lodge on the north side of Gull Lake.

The first Governor’s Fishing Opener in the Brainerd lakes area was hosted by Breezy Point Resort on Pelican Lake in 1970. Since that time, Governor’s Fishing Openers have been hosted by Grand View Lodge in 1976, Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake in 1993, and Breezy Point Resort in 1989, 2001 and 2008.

Mille Lacs Lake was the location for the first governor’s opener in 1948, and that lake was also the location for the following nine years. Leech Lake has been the host for the openers in 1961, 1968 and 2007.

Following is a look back at highlights from the past Governor’s Fishing Openers in the Brainerd lakes area:

1970: Gov. Harold LeVander attended the first governor’s opener on Pelican Lake as Breezy Point Resort served as the host.

1976: Gov. Wendell Anderson participated in ideal weather conditions for the fishing opener at Grand View Lodge. The largest catch was a 9-pound, 5-ounce walleye.

1989: The event at Breezy Pointy Resort featured Miss Minnesota Susan Johnson, who welcomed Gov. Rudy Perpich and almost 200 state and national media members. More than 2,000 people feasted on the famous Bean Hole beans.

1993: Gov. Arne Carlson attended the opener on Gull Lake while Dan Gottsch and Liz Dean served as co-chairpersons for the event at Cragun’s. More than 300 media members attended as fishing took place in cold, windy conditions.

2001: Dan and Donna Gottsch served as co-chairpersons for the opener at Breezy Point Resort. Gov. Jesse Ventura and Lt. Gov. Mae Schunk attended the event, which set a record with 360 registered media.

2008: Tim Pawlenty was governor while Patty and Ryan Buell served as co-chairpersons for the event at Breezy Point Resort. Pawlenty arrived a day early to throw out the first pitch at a Pequot Lakes Patriots High School baseball game, and he toured the Dru Sjodin Garden at Trailside Park. A community picnic took place at Trailside Park in Pequot Lakes on the eve of the opener.