Dick Herfindahl: The Governor’s Fishing Opener is less than one week away now

Published 10:47 pm Friday, May 5, 2017

Woods & Water by Dick Herfindahl

I once again have been invited to participate in the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener. This is an event that I have been lucky enough to attend since 1995; my participation started in the Wilmar area and has been held in many different locations over the years, and in looking back, I would find it very hard to choose a favorite. Some years, actually most of them, the fishing has been pretty good but in others, less than spectacular. This event is not just about the catching; the main reason for holding this event is the exposure it generates not only for the area hosting it but to also promote tourism in our great state.

If I were to rate the governor’s in the order of their availability to the public I would have to say that Governor Pawlenty was probably the most accessible and most willing to rub elbows with the average Joe. Governor Ventura started out as one who was willing to talk to anyone but as time went by he was so paranoid that he surrounded himself with bodyguards, which made it almost impossible to even take a picture. Jesse was, beyond a doubt, the most colorful governor to date, which caused the media to flock around him in order to hear what was going to come out of his mouth next.

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Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet some very interesting folks. The weekend for me usually starts with meeting my old friend Jeff Anderson, who has now retired as a sports and radio talk show host from Watertown, South Dakota.  We will attend the community picnic and later on meet the person(s) who will be our fishing host the next day. Somewhere along the way they went from being called guides to being called hosts. On some of those years I have fished with “hosts” who were actually guides and some that were just a guy who liked to fish and even one who didn’t really fish but “claimed” to know the lake.

As far as fishing hosts or local residents go I have been lucky enough to have met some really special folks who not only showed me some good fishing but have shared their knowledge of the area being featured. The second part is really the most important part because being a member of the media I feel that it is more important to highlight what the featured area has to offer the average vacationer.

I am always anxious to meet the person that Jeff and I will be fishing with and this year is no exception.  I am hopeful that he (or she) will put us on some very hungry fish. There have been years when the host has asked if we wanted to catch fish or follow the governor around. That is always a good sign because it tells me that our host will very likely find fish.  Finding fish is good and this is where the luck thing comes into play; no matter what a guy knows, or thinks he knows, there is always a certain amount of luck involved when it comes to catching fish.

I have already ventured north to our cabin a couple of times this spring and the water in most areas along the way is very high. I don’t know if this will be good or bad for the opener but I will soon find out. This past week I was up at out cabin clearing some trees that had fallen on my boat. I didn’t find any serious damage but the number of trees that had fallen was more than I have ever seen downed at one time. This time I was on a mission so I actually remembered to bring the chainsaw along and was able to clear quite a few of those trees. Although it will be a slow process I will, hopefully, be able to peck away at the fallen trees a few at a time on each visit.

Until next time

With the opener soon upon us don’t forget that there are some very good fishing lakes right here in our area. You don’t have to drive very far at all to find good fishing. We have some nice fishing piers on Fountain and Albert Lea Lakes and driving a little bit north you will also find fishing piers on both Beaver and St. Olav Lakes.

Please take some time to honor those that have sacrificed so much for the freedoms that we enjoy today, also take a little extra time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, those who served and those troops that are serving today.