The 68th Annual Governor’s Fishing Opener

Thousands Get Ready to Cast Their Lines at Lake Vermilion

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The Governor’s Fishing Opener is the official kick–off to the summer season.

This year anglers say the water temperatures are at about 60 degrees, which is abnormally high for this time of year, and though the water levels are low, that’s the best time to catch some fish

“This area here is special, I like to say it’s God’s country over here,” said Billy Rosner, Owner of Wild Country Guide Service.

Tower, population 500, nearly quadrupled in size Friday, as people flooded the town for the 2015 Governor’s Fishing Opener at Lake Vermilion.

“Lake Vermilion is probably one of the greatest multi–species lakes we have in Minnesota,” said Rosner.

It’s a weekend anglers wait around for all winter long.

“I’m like a little kid at Christmas,” laughed Rosner.

Full of tradition…

“I can’t always catch fish, but I got to show you that I’m committed, so every year I’ve been governor I’ve gone out at 12:01,” laughed Governor Dayton.


“My father didn’t know how to catch fish, and I didn’t know that until I was about 25 years old, so I had a wonderful time coming up to Lake Vermilion for the summers, but I never caught a fish,” Governor Dayton said.

And, what’s a fishing opener without some trash–talking?

“Speaker Daudt and I have a bet that the other ones buys lunch, so I’m hoping to keep it civil, we still have a budget to work out,” joked Dayton.

For Rosner, a 4th generation fishing guide, the beauty in fishing is that, out on the lake, every day is different.

“Probably 5 or 6 years ago, I was coming out of Norwegian Bay one morning, it was kind of foggy, and I got by Square Rock Island and I saw something swimming. First I thought it was a deer, but as I got closer, it was a bull moose,” Rosner said.

As Minnesotans, we all have our own fishing stories to tell.

“My grandpa had the opportunity back in Northern Wisconsin to guide Eisenhower,” Rosner said.

But one story we can all share:

“It brings Minnesotans together, from all backgrounds, from all pursuits, from all politics, tomorrow we’re all Minnesotans and proud of it,” Dayton said. 

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