Like opening day, the annual Elks Fishing Fling is much anticipated in the Brainerd area. But unlike opening day, you're guaranteed to get something at the Fling.
Nobody leaves without at least a leech tote or a gift certificate from a local bait shop. But many leave with quite a bit more, and the six top prizes include trips to Alaska, Lake of the Woods and Lake Superior.
So if you plan to attend the Fling on April 21 you can do so knowing you'll take home a prize and contribute to a worthy cause.
"This really gives our youth activities a boost," said Dick Lyscio, exalted ruler of the Elks. "It's one of our largest fund raisers of the year."
Monies raised at the Fling go to the Elks scholarship fund, summer camp on Pelican Lake and the annual hoops shoot. Each year for the past four years the Elks have raised about $4,000 from the Fling, Lyscio said.
This year's guest speaker is Steve Quinn, 16-year veteran at In-Fisherman magazine. Quinn edits the annual bass guide and has written several books on bass fishing. But he's a multi-species expert who likes to catch walleyes, panfish, pike and catfish, a certified fisheries scientist with the American Fisheries Society and once worked as a biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Quinn spoke at the Fling five years ago and said he's looking forward to returning.
"I'm familiar with the group," Quinn said. "I know many of them from the community. I know the Elks do a lot of good work and I'm glad to help out."
Quinn said part of his program will focus on where to catch big bass, walleyes and panfish here in the Brainerd area.
"We don't want to put undue pressure on body of water," Quinn said, "but there are lakes around here that could handle a bit more, waters that have been overlooked through the years. Most people think north when they go fishing. But some of these lakes are south of town."
The presentation will last about 45 minutes and include slides, Quinn said.
"In the past I assumed everybody knew what I meant when I said bladebait, but I was told that's not the case," he said.
Something for everyone is the hallmark of the Fishing Fling, and Quinn's presentation will follow suit.
"Walleyes get top billing this time of year," Quinn said, "but panfish are just heating up. I hope to give some information guys can use right now."
Social hour begins at 5 p.m., dinner is served at 7 p.m. and Quinn's presentation is set for 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 apiece and available from any Elks member or at the lodge. Phone 829-2643.
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