2023 MN Governor’s Fishing Opener Hosted by Greater Mankato May 11-13

Various Activities and Events Open to the Public

MANKATO, Minn. (May 8, 2023) — The 75th Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener, hosted by Greater Mankato for the first time, will celebrate the time-honored Minnesota fishing tradition and feature numerous events, starting Thursday, May 11, through Saturday, May 13.

The fishing opener provides the host community with an opportunity to highlight local fishing, attractions, and points of interest for media, influencers, and elected officials while they’re in town. In addition, various activities are open to the public throughout the weekend, including goat yoga, live daily entertainment, and more.

Thursday, May 11

1 – 3 P.M. | Waterville
Visitors of all ages are welcome to come visit with a chance to see walleye, northern pike, and muskellunge being raised at the hatchery and learn more about this very important facility and its critical role in supporting the sport of angling in Southern Minnesota, and throughout the state.

6 – 9 P.M. | Lucky Lure | Madison Lake
Known for their freshly made pizzas, pasta, salad & sandwiches, the Lucky Lure is the perfect place to relax while listening to live music by the fan favorite AZBY band.

Friday, May 12

12 – 4 P.M. | Minneopa State Park
The word Minneopa comes from the Dakota language meaning “water falling twice,” referring to the beautiful waterfalls of the Minneopa Creek. Walk the trail which encircles the falls, leading down a limestone stairway to the valley below. On the other side of the Sioux Trail, is the home of the state park’s bison herd. Visitors drive their own vehicles through the range and can stop at the historic Seppmann Mill Overlook where the park’s Bison Ambassadors will be to share the wonders of the Minneopa State Park bison herd. Minnesota state park vehicle permit required.

9 A.M. – 4:30 P.M. | Mankato
Visitors have enjoyed Northwoods winter cabin exhibit. As the seasons change, new cabin adventures will be built with the same ideas: to foster the love of play in a Minnesota cabin… but this time filled with summer fun. Northwoods Summer Cabin will be the perfect destination for fishing, boating and bird watching. Admission is charged at the door.

7 – 10 P.M. | The Landing on Madison | Madison Lake
The Landing is a lakeside restaurant and bar with a relaxed atmosphere serving a variety of menu items from burgers to Prime Rib. Celebrate your day and enjoy music by the regional cover band, the Blue Ringers.

7 P.M. | Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center | Mankato
Come experience Raw Fusion “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Raw Fusion is a fashion show hosted by the Minnesota River Builders Association. The show is built on innovation, community, and creative energy, while bringing awareness to the local building industry and raising funds for great causes!

This year’s proceeds will benefit local schools in the southern Minnesota area supporting programs focused on trades and construction education. For more information, or to purchase a ticket, visit: https://mnrba.com/raw-fusion/

Saturday, May 13

1:30 – 4:30 P.M. | The Anchor Bar & Grill | Madison Lake
If you are looking for tasty burgers, delicious drinks, and the sound of great music, the
Anchor Bar & Grill is your place. Come and enjoy great food and drinks while listening to acoustic covers by the Jeremy Poland Band.

2 – 2:45 P.M. | Madison Lake
The Goofy Goat Farm is an interactive goat farm located just outside of Mankato in Madison Lake, Minnesota. The Goofy Goat Farm is free for visitors and open whenever the goats are out. Join us in partnership with a local certified yoga instructor for a farm fitness experience. Whether you are new to yoga, an experienced yogi, or just curious about the goat yoga phenomenon, all are welcome. Please bring your own mat, towel, or blanket.

2 – 5 P.M. | The Landing on Madison | Madison Lake
The Landing is a lakeside restaurant and bar with a relaxed atmosphere serving a
variety of menu items from burgers to Prime Rib. Celebrate your day and enjoy the
upbeat sounds of Sean Benz.

7 – 10 P.M. | The Anchor Bar & Grill | Madison Lake
Cap off the day with the high energy rock band, Nowhere Fast while enjoying a tasty
burger and delicious drink on the patio of the Anchor Bar & Grill.

The Governor’s Fishing Opener has been a tradition in Minnesota since 1948. This is just the fifth time in the 75-year history that the Fishing Opener will be held in Southern Minnesota and the first time the event will be held in the Greater Mankato area. The event was designed to promote the development of Minnesota’s recreation industry, and in recent years, it has served as an iconic kick-off celebration for the summer tourism season. More information about the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener is available at mngovernorsopener.com.


About Visit Mankato:
Visit Mankato, the local the local destination management organization, is a business unit of Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. (GMG), which also includes the regional chamber of commerce and economic development organization, Greater Mankato Growth, the downtown development organization, City Center Partnership, and GreenSeam, which utilizes agriculture to build on the region’s extensive agribusiness assets to develop the ag economy. Visit Mankato leads the development of the visitor economy in Greater Mankato by actively promoting Greater Mankato as a premier destination for conventions, tournaments and tourism. These activities bring a steady flow of visitors and business activity to Greater Mankato that benefits local residents and future visitors. The work of Visit Mankato helps strengthen the hospitality industry which provides jobs, a diverse tax base and amenities for everyone to enjoy.