Fish the #OnlyInMN Cup, a statewide Virtual Walleye Tournament for the Opener
Apr 29th, 2021 by Keith Worrall
Modified Apr 29th, 2021 at 12:57 PM
Fire up your smart phones for the opener Lake of the Woods Anglers, as there is a statewide virtual walleye tournament for the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener. Using the popular fishing tournament app, FishDonkey, organizers from Ottertail County, the site of the 2021 MN Governor’s Fishing Opener event, will run the tournament.
The Governor’s Fishing Opener is in Otter Tail County this year after getting postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic. Nobody is worrying about that, they are moving forward with some exciting plans.
Governor’s Fishing Opener Planning Committee Chair for Otter Tail County Erik Osberg says the #OnlyInMN Cup was something the group wanted to start last year. “One of our desires with hosting the governor’s fishing opener is we wanted to try to create ways for the public to feel like they were participating in it too.”
For many years, the Governor’s Opener has been a media driven event to highlight tourism in Minnesota. When fishing begins on May 15th, all anglers will have a chance at winning the #OnlyInMN Cup, along with prizes for catching the biggest walleye.
The competition is walleye-only and catch-and-release. Anyone fishing on Minnesota waters can take part.
The FishDonkey app is an easy to use app in which you take a picture of the fish, in this case walleye, on a commercial measuring ruler or bump board. You also take a second image of the fish while holding it as a “hero” shot, so judges can see the side of the fish eliminating duplicate entries. This virtual walleye tournament is based on the length of the fish.
How It Works. Organizers use the FishDonkey website to HOST and publicize your tournament. Anglers JOIN the tournament by using our app. The mobile app is used to RECORD and VERIFY all fish. Fish can be immediately released back to their natural environment.
Osberg says he hopes this becomes a yearly tradition. “Our intent was to start this tradition. So then, as the Governor’s Fishing Opener moved around from community to community, there’d be a traveling trophy, like the Stanley Cup.”
There’s an adult competition and a kids competition in this virtual walleye tournament:
First place: $1,000 gift card to Fleet Farm
Second place: $500 gift card to Fleet Farm
Third place: $500 gift card to anywhere in Otter Tail County
Fourth place: Fishing rod and hat from Gene’s Sport Shop in Perham
Fifth and sixth place: Life jackets from Onyx
Youth competition: 15 and Under
First place: $400 gift card to Blackfish
Second and third place: Life jackets, a fishing rod, and a shirt from Ben’s Bait Shop in Battle Lake
Lake of the Woods anglers, some of the largest walleyes in the state will be caught on The Walleye Capital of the World. Let’s recognize Ottertail County for their efforts in putting on what we know will be a great Governor’s Opener. Let’s also thank them for putting on this statewide contest by bringing home the gold in this virtual walleye tournament! We wish our friends in Ottertail County the best for the event and certainly wish everyone a wonderful fishing opener on May 15th.
About the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener
The Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener has been a tradition in Minnesota since 1948. It was designed to improve Minnesota’s economy through the development and promotion of the state’s recreational opportunities, especially fishing. The first opener was a cooperative promotion between the state’s resort industry, media, and public officials. Today, the emphasis is even broader. It celebrates the kickoff of the summer tourism season. The special partnership continues today with a promotional focus on a host community as well as recreational opportunities statewide.