Brainerd has been here before.
In last year’s first Ultimate Fishing Town USA contest, Brainerd dominated nominations, earning the most in its region.
Then came the voting process, and while Brainerd was in the hunt early — at one time it was third in the Midwest region and ninth in the nation — it faded fast and was not among the top two towns from each region and six wild-card picks that advanced to the final round of voting.
So what can we do differently this year?
The nomination period runs through April 30, and as of 6 p.m. Tuesday — three days into nominations — Brainerd was fourth in “Most Active Towns” with 25 comments. Brainerd was among eight Minnesota towns nominated, including Baudette, which finished third in the nation last year — good for a $2,500 donation to be used toward fishing-related cause(s) from contest sponsor the World Fishing Network. Word has it that the Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau was relentless in its pursuit of the title of Ultimate Fishing Town and it paid off. First place — Roscoe, N.Y., reigned in 2011 — will again be a $25,000 donation, with the town featured in a show on WFN about fishing in their town. Second place is a $5,000 donation.
Nominations — at http://www.worldfishingnetwork.com/uft/home.php — may include photos, videos and essays about why Brainerd should be WFN’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA. And while Brainerd has already been nominated, people are encouraged to add to the nomination with additional photos, videos and essays.
Brainerd’s initial nomination read, “The Brainerd Lakes Area is one of the best multispecies, freshwater fisheries in the country. You will find a variety of species abundant here – ranging from bass to muskie, but the region is best known for its walleye fishing. Throughout the year, anglers enjoy great fishing with more than 500 diverse lakes in the region, including the ever popular Gull Lake Chain of Lakes, the Whitefish Chain of Lakes and Lake Mille Lacs, the second-largest lake in Minnesota. Brainerd also is home to many Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame greats, including Ron and Al Lindner, and Babe Winkelman.”
The first-place prize would go a long way toward so many needy fishing-related causes in the lakes area, so make your nomination for Brainerd.
And then, when the time comes, vote — over and over again.
BRIAN S. PETERSON, outdoors editor, may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5864. To follow him on Twitter, go to www.twitter.com/brian_speterson. For his blogs, go to www.brainerddispatch.com.