Minnesota's chief executive will travel south for the 2023 Governor's Fishing Opener to Mankato on May 12-13.
Gov. Tim Walz on Monday announced his hometown of Mankato as the spot of the traditional opener. Walz, a DFLer, may or may not be there as governor. He's on the ballot for re-election this year and facing nominal opposition in Tuesday's primary. He will face a more serious GOP challenger in November, likely endorsed candidate and former state Sen. Scott Jensen.
There are more than 150 lakes within 30 minutes of Mankato. There are also three state water trails and the region has more than 50 miles of paved walking and biking trails, according to a release from the governor's office.
Both Walz and Jensen are familiar with the region. Not only is Mankato the governor's hometown, he also represented the First District in Congress for years before he was elected statewide. He held his first fishing opener in Albert Lea in 2019.
Jensen's hometown is Sleepy Eye, about an hour west of the site of the opener.
Walz went to north-central Minnesota in May for this year's opener on Cut Foot Sioux Lake on the Leech Lake Reservation, near Deer River. Walz caught a walleye while on the water with Leech Lake Chairman Faron Jackson Sr. and Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame guide Tom Neustrom.
The annual Governor's Fishing Opener has been held since 1948 to highlight the cultural and economic importance of the sport. This will be the 75th Governor's Opener, the first in Mankato and only the fifth held in the southern part of the state, Walz said.
Explore Minnesota coordinates the opener and treats it as the kickoff to summer tourism.