Breezy Point Resort is a flurry of activity.
No, it's not that Pelican Lake is necessarily an ice-fishing hotbed these days, although it's reportedly producing walleyes in 20 feet of water on setlines and shiner minnows.
No, we're talking the 2008 Governor's Fishing Opener. Yes, open-water fishing is alive and well at Breezy Point - and the Pequot Lakes area - as the host committees work toward the opener, scheduled May 10 on Pelican.
In early January?
Well, long before January. More like soon after last year's event, held on Leech Lake. This is an important time for the committees associated with the event. Yes, the success of the opener will be, in large part, decided while ice and snow still blanket Pelican.
"We're definitely keeping things rolling," said Ryan Buell, co-chairman of the 2008 event.
"We learned it's a huge, huge event," said Buell's wife, Patty, the other co-chair. The Buells were on hand for last year's opener on Leech, learning firsthand what the event entails.
"We learned a lot up there. We just assumed a lot was happening on its own. We realized the magnitude of the event."
Which is why the open-water opener lives in the dead of winter. There are sponsors to sign - major sponsors Cabela's and Crestliner are already in place, according to Ryan Buell, although more are needed. Then there's the all-important fishing hosts.
"We have commitments from almost 40 so far and letters going out to a list of about 70 or 80 more," Buell said. "We're looking good on hosts. We need about 110 to 120 hosts total, as well as alternates."
"The fishing hosts are really important," added Geoff Gorvin, co-chairman of the public relations committee for the opener. "They're going to be the ambassadors for the event for the people they're taking out. We want to put on a good face for the area."
Buell said about 125 volunteers also will be needed.
"By the time it's all said and done, about 350 people" will be needed to pull off the event, Buell said. "The purpose of the event is public relations ... an event to expose the media to the area. It's a huge tourism event. It's a great platform to talk about the area. The emphasis is on fishing, but it's a tourism event. It encompasses the whole Brainerd lakes area."
Even in January.
BRIAN S. PETERSON, outdoors editor, may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5864.
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