The big 6-0.
The Governor's Fishing Opener returns to a familiar place Saturday for its 60th anniversary.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty (front left) and first lady Mary Pawlenty (center) fished during last year's Governor's Fishing Opener on Leech Lake.» Purchase reprints of this photo.
The event, which helps kick off the state open-water fishing season, will be hosted at Breezy Point and Pelican Lake for the fourth time in its history.
Saturday morning on Pelican, Gov. Tim Pawlenty will help kick off the 2008 season. Breezy Point and Pelican previously hosted Gov. Jesse Ventura in 2001, Gov. Rudy Perpich in 1989 and Gov. Harold LeVander in 1970.
Festivities at the community picnic prior to last year's opener drew participants in a DNR youth fishing event - Molly Croy (far left) and Nadine Martini.» Purchase reprints of this photo.Steve Kohls
The first such event was on Lake Mille Lacs in 1948, but it wasn't until 1958 that the event started to take off. In 1961, Gov. Elmer L. Andersen hosted the first Fisherama on Leech Lake for administration officials and outdoors journalists.
In 1963, the media dubbed the event the Governor's Fishing Party. The name stuck until the late 1970s, when it became the Governor's Fishing Opener, according to the Minnesota Historical Society Web site.
Former Minnesota Twins star and outdoors television host Kent Hrbek.» Purchase reprints of this photo.
The Governor's Fishing Opener remains a major media event, typically drawing more than 150 local, regional and national media types, as well as another 150 special guests.
This year, local fishing guide Dan "Walleyedan" Eigen will serve as guide/host for Pawlenty and his wife, Mary. Professional fisherman Tom Whitehead of Brainerd will serve as guide/host for Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau.
Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau landed a fish last year.» Purchase reprints of this photo.
Breezy Point and Pequot Lakes are official hosts of the event, with festivities scheduled Friday and Saturday in the area. A list of festivities and activities and coverage of the Governor's Fishing Opener will be available in the Dispatch in coming days.
America's pride was on display during last year's Governor's Fishing Opener community picnic festivities in Walker.» Purchase reprints of this photo.
Last year's event - see photos - was just down the road from Breezy Point at Walker on Leech Lake.
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