PAYNESVILLE -- It was all hands on deck this (Friday) morning with the first ever Golden Gopher Fishing Classic.

Head Football Coach Tracy Claeys and his staff got to cast off with local anglers sharing stories, braving the rain, and meeting fans.

"It's a lot of fun, it's a great place to be. It's fun being around a lot of great people outside the Twin Cities," says Claeys.

Even some coaching advise was traded with the Paynesville high school football coach.

"We won't let him off the pontoon until we find out everything we need to know," says Max Meagher.

"Same with me with the on-side kick secrets, we're going to find out how to do it successful every time and change Big 10 football," says Claeys.

The event is a fundraiser put on by the Goal Line Club, with help from the Central Lakes Bass Anglers Club.

Anglers Club President Ron Mehr says they began planning the tournament last fall.

"We wanted to set it up so it was family friendly and not as a competitive tournament," says Mehr.

About 38 boats went out on Lake Koronis looking for that prize winning fish. And it's didn't take long until coach Claeys reeled in a one pound bass.

"We were worried about getting skunked but we got a couple of them, but we are having a good time," says Claeys.

Claeys says events like this are fun for his entire staff, and they will get back to campus refreshed and ready for the fall.


(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)