GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton caught and released a northern pike at his first Governor’s Fishing Opener, shortly after a send-off ceremony at Lake Pokegama near Grand Rapids on Saturday.

Dayton got started fishing just after midnight and was joined by Grand Rapids fisherman Scott Glorvigen and Army National Guard Spc. Dennis Coan, who served in Afghanistan with the 114th Transportation Co.

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He spent about two hours fishing overnight, but Dayton’s catch came about 9 a.m. Saturday.

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The Governor’s Fishing Opener started in 1948 and traditionally serves as a kickoff celebration to the summer tourism season.

Many of festivities are based at Ruttger’s Sugar Lake Lodge. Most of the fishing will be on Pokegama and other area lakes.

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