NISSWA, Minn. (WCCO) — The Governor’s Fishing Opener kicks off the walleye and northern pike season at midnight Friday.

This year’s festivities are being held in the Brainerd Lakes area. Gov. Mark Dayton will fish out of Grand View Lodge in Nisswa on Gull Lake.

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They’re rolling out the red carpet to make it as memorable as possible for the people ready to get out and start fishing.

The fishing opener, which started in 1948, kicks off a season that’s key to Minnesota’s $12 billion tourism industry.

Places like Grand View Lodge certainly make you want to hit the road for a weekend or a week away. The main lodge was finished in 1921. It’s on the National Registry of Historic Places, so it won’t change.

Flooding was a concern when it was built, so it sits nearly 400 feet from the shoreline. There are now a lot of other buildings and cabins, but the main lodge is the focal point of the resort.

Frank & Chris At The Grand View Lodge

Unlike last year, the governor and the other anglers on Gull Lake will have open water this weekend.

Ice out happened here just five days ago. The water is obviously still very cold, which provides a challenge for the guy in charge of helping Gov. Dayton catch a fish – Ray Gildow.

Frank & Chris Meet The Governor’s Fishing Guide

Besides fishing, the Brainerd Lakes area offers fun activities like horseback riding, biking, golf and tennis.

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But this weekend, much importance will placed on getting the next generation interested in fishing.

Fourth graders from Garfield School in Brainerd lined up on shore Thursday to practice casting. It’s part of the DNR’s MinnAqua Fishing Education Program.

The kids learn about fishing technique and about the fish they’re trying to catch. Another awesome tool on hand helps kids with special needs learn about the lake.

Frank and Chris went along on the Camp Confidence glass-bottom boat to see Gull Lake like few people do.

Frank & Chris Take Glass-Bottom Boat Ride

On Thursday night, the guys tagged along for the Dine Around Gull progressive dinner.

Tour buses picked up guests at Grand View Lodge and drove them to nine different restaurants around the lake.

Frank and Chris had scallops at Bar Harbor Supper Club. Other stops included salad or other appetizers.

It ended back at Grand View Lodge for an entree and dessert by the lake.

There’s a lot of fun to be had around Nisswa, and plenty to eat.

Frank & Chris Dine Around Gull Lake

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