While Otter Tail County was searching for a safe way to make everyone feel included in the Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener, the idea of the #OnlyInMN Cup, a virtual fishing competition was born.
According to Otter Tail Lakes County Association Rural Rebound Initiative Coordinator Erik Osberg, this started out as a way for opener attendees to have a friendly competition. It has since grown into a statewide event.
"We're inviting anyone fishing in Minnesota waters to celebrate the opener," Osberg said.
The annual Governor's Fishing Opener will be held May 13-15 in Otter Tail County. The county was slated to host in 2020 until the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the event.
The competition is walleye-only and catch-and-release. Anyone fishing on Minnesota waters can participate as the fishing season opens on May 15.
There are different categories for adults and youths ages 15 and under. The following are the prizes for the competition in both categories:
- 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
- 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
To sign up for the competition, download the app, FishDonkey. Once the app is installed, search "#onlyinmncup." From there, you can register for the competition. There is no entry fee.
Starting at 12:01 a.m. on May 15, you'll be able to start the competition. When you catch a walleye, you can open the FishDonkey app. Take a picture with the measuring device on the app, and you've entered your catch into the competition.