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GFO creates memories for one lucky youngster

Viking linebacker Audie Cole, left, headed out on the water with Kinship Kid Cameron Tuma, his mentor Fred Lundstrom and fishing host Jeremy Anderson. They caught 16 walleye on opening day.

By Jason Durham /For the Enterprise

Last weekend’s Governor’s Fishing Opener event created memories for many people in numerous capacities. The theme, “Catch a Memory,” went far beyond simply landing a fish or two.

For 14-year-old Cameron Tuma, memories from the weekend included more than he initially envisioned.

Tuma, who resides with his great-grandmother, was paired up with local fishing guide Jeremy Anderson, Kinship mentor Fred Lundstrom and Minnesota Viking Audie Cole.

The plan was for Anderson to pick up Audie Cole at the AmericInn, then meet Tuma and Lundstrom at the American Legion for breakfast.

But Anderson noticed smoke coming from his boat trailer when he arrived at the hotel. The bearings had failed and getting the boat in the water was no longer an option.

The rig was dropped at L&M and after a call to Anderson’s dad, a back-up boat was secured.

The group joined several other boats on 8th Crow Wing, but after a couple hours with no bites and no sign of fish from other anglers, the crew took off to another lake. The switch turned out to be a good choice.

“We started catching a few bass and northerns, and then the walleyes started biting. We caught all three species all day long,” said Anderson.

The crew was having such a good time that they decided to skip the shore lunch at Northern Pines Church camp. By the end of the day, they had amassed a stringer of 16 walleyes, not to mention the numerous bass and northerns that were released.

Stories such as this, with unique events and newly developed relationships, came from a large number of the Governor’s Fishing Opener participants.

Personally, I caught my own memories too, beyond enjoying the company of the Governor.

This started early in the week on Tuesday, when I launched my new boat for the first time on the Fish Hook river. An engine alarm halfway through the trip indicated low oil. By the time I arrived back home, 7 quarts of lubricant had disappeared from my engine. Thankfully Mike Johnson of Johnson’s on the Water welcomed the challenge.

When I stopped by the shop on Thursday evening, Mike had remedied the oil leak. But now hydraulic fluid was dripping from the trim cylinder. A gasket had failed and unless the part was available immediately, the boat would be inoperable for opening day.

When the phone rang an hour later, my stomach lurched to hear Mike’s words. “You’re sunk,” he said.

Fortunately Brunswick Manufacturing personally sent a factory representative with the part late Friday morning and Mike Johnson called at 2:30 p.m. with the news that the boat was finished. I picked it up, dropped it in my driveway, ran back to the truck and twisted my ankle, tearing a ligament.

Governor Dayton’s walleye, caught at 12:25 am was simply fate; I had already used up my bad luck.

The Governor joked that I can “walk on water”, but for the next month walking anywhere will be with the aid of an ankle brace.