How long have you been fishing?
I have been fishing for as long as I can remember. I am thankful that my parents introduced me to fishing at a young age. The first time that red and white bobber went under and I felt the tug on the line is all it took. I was hooked!
What inspired you to become a Lund Pro-Staff?
Growing up my family did not have a boat, but a friend of mine’s Uncle used to take us out in his Lund boat. From the first time I was in his boat, I wanted a Lund. At the time it seemed impossible. As I grew older I became a fan of walleye tournaments. I saw people like the Lindner’s, Gary Roach, and Mike Gofron fishing out of a Lund. In my wildest dreams I never thought I would get the chance to join the Lund Pro-Staff and represent such a great product. I pinch myself every day when I fire up the motor!
Can you tell us the largest fish you have ever caught?
I caught a sturgeon on the Menominee River that I never weighed but I would guess it was close to 70 pounds. I was using a 6’ walleye rod and 2 lb. diameter 10 lb. test line. It took over half an hour to get the fish to the boat.
Where are you from?
I am originally from Freeport, IL and currently reside in Madison, WI.
Where do you mostly fish and what tournaments can we see you in this season?
When I am fishing for fun you can find me on a river in the spring, usually the Illinois, Mississippi or Wisconsin Rivers. In the summer I fish the Madison chain of lakes, usually focusing on Lake Mendota. The walleye bite on Mendota has been great this year!
I fished the MWC Illinois River, the FLW Mississippi River and I will be fishing the FLW Bays de Noc. I will also be fishing some Illinois Walleye Trail events, maybe a Walleye Anglers Trail and some local tournaments as well.
What is the best fishing tip that you ever received?
How to control your boat on the boat when fishing the face of wing dam. I instantly became a better river fisherman.
In what ways are you involved in the community?
I belong to the National Professional Anglers Association. They do a great job getting children involved with fishing and promoting the sport in general. Fishing has had a huge impact on my life and I want to give those who are interested in fishing an opportunity in any way that I can, children and adults. I help out with NPAA kids clinics when I can. I donate a trip to the highest bidder with all proceeds going to the Madison Children’s Museum. This year I had a father and his two sons, 8 and 13, who were the high bidders. We had a great day on the water with two “Smith Family Records” including a 26” walleye and a 29” channel catfish that took over 8 minutes for the eight year old to bring in. To see the look in their eyes when they get the first glimpse of the fish is an unbelievable feeling. I also donate my time to Take ‘em Outdoors for children and veterans with chronic diseases and injuries. I have participated in the FLW National Guard Soldiers Appreciation Tournament in the past and hope to help out again this year.
Pick five words to describe yourself.
Competitive, positive, sarcastic, inclusive, and humorous.
What is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever bought?
X-Ray vision glasses from the back of a Field and Stream or Outdoor Life magazine when I was in elementary school. Man was I disappointed in those glasses!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Under promise and over deliver!
What trait do you admire in people?
I most admire those who have a positive attitude. I feel that those with a positive attitude achieve more than those who do not. It is empowering to hear people talk about what they can do rather than always hearing what they can’t do.
What was the best year of your life?
Growing up my grandfather meant everything to me. He was a hard-working man who farmed all of his life. He loved the outdoors and taught me so much. By the time I was in high school, heart problems had slowed him down. He was in good spirits but he couldn’t do much physical activity. I stopped by the farm just after graduating college and I brought my Brittany along to do some pheasant hunting. As I was about to head out into the field my grandfather asked if he could come along. I was shocked, I knew he was feeling better but I would have never imagined that he would have felt good enough to pheasant hunt. I don’t even remember if we got anything that day. I just know it was one of my favorite days ever. We talked about that day for years to come before he finally passed. I am not sure if that was the best year of my life, but being able to share a day hunting with my grandfather when I was a grown man still is my favorite memory!
What’s your worst habit?
My worst habit is eating my favorite potato chips, Mrs. Mikes. I will eat them all day if they are sitting in front of me, for breakfast too!
What’s your favorite model of Lund to fish out? Why?
My favorite Lund Boat is the Pro V 1875 IFS. I love fishing rivers and the 1875 is the perfect size, not to big – not too small. The ride is excellent and the full windshield protects me from the elements, which is a big deal in March and April. The 1875 is easier to control compared to a longer boat as the back end will not swing as much in the current. This is especially important when fishing the face and tips of wing dams, where a precision presentation is necessary. The 1875 also allows me to get into backwater areas, which is an advantage when big walleyes await!
Anything else you would like to say to our entire staff at Lund Boats?
Thanks for making the best boat in the business. I am so proud to run a Lund Boat. Just remember that we appreciate the attention to detail you put into making the best boat on the water!