May 20th, 2021 by Gary Osberg

The Governor’s Fishing Opener was a huge success.  My son Erik was operating on 4 hours of sleep by the time the sun came up on Saturday.   My grandson Walleye Willie was chosen to guide Ashlea Halpren and Andrew Parks from Minnevangelist.  Ashlea and Andrew searched 40 states in the United States over a 16 month period for a place to live and they chose Minnesota. 

What follows is what they wrote on their post.

“Meet 12-year-old Will, a.k.a. “Walleye Willie,” an aspiring marine biologist and one of Team Minnevangelist’s three boat hosts for the Governor’s Fishing Opener in Otter Tail County (Our other two were his doting grandparents, Lee and Kathy.)

Our fab five borrowed a pontoon boat from the family-run East Silent Lake Resort in Dent — and whaddaya know, it was a sunny blue day and we had East Silent Lake mostly to ourselves.

The goal? Catch and release crappies, bass, suckers, and pike. (Though honestly, we would’ve been excited to reel in an old boot.) Wise beyond his years, Willie was a fine instructor — showing fishing newbies Ashlea and Andrew the ropes (er, lines?) as we puttered around the pristine lake. With eyes like X-rays, he could laser in on a school of fish from 100 feet away. He demonstrated the proper way to jig a rod and shared his philosophies on fishing (it’s a little art, a little luck, and a lotta patience).

Four hours in, Willie had caught himself eight fish (six on the boat, two on the dock). But Grandma Kathy, Grandpa Lee, and Team Minnevangelist? ZERO. Or, as Willie taught us to say, “so many we lost count.”

We had such a fun weekend exploring Otter Tail County and look forward to sharing our favorite finds throughout the week. Stay tuned for curious roadside attractions, scenic hike-a-thons, juicy broasted chicken, a pedal boat workout, lakeside cabin tours, the dance to end all dances, and more pearls of fishing wisdom from a preternaturally talented sixth grader.”  
 Ashlea and Andrew

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the ways things turn out.”   John Wooden

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