MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s fishing opener is still a week away, but some lucky veterans are already reeling them in.

The group Muskies Inc. helped put on a fishing event at the Minneapolis Veterans Home Saturday afternoon. They build a pond, stock it with trout and let some real American heroes wet their lines.

Reginald Alexander, a resident at the home, says he hadn’t been fishing since he was about 12.

“It’s one of those wonderful things that always comes with spring — fishing,” he said. “It’s something that we all hope to have time to do, but I never got around to it because I was too busy. So it’s really been a wonderful experience for me, something new. I look forward to a lot of them to come.”

Alexander later said Saturday’s trout seemed well-educated because they were tricky to catch, but he did get one.

Some of the fish are turned into a nice lunch for the veterans and their families.