Since I was a small child, fishing has played a big role in my life. The spark was ignited aboard my grandfather’s fishing raft on the Wolf River, where we spent countless hours watching cane poles anticipating the next strike. Since then, fishing has transformed from a favorite pastime into a competitive sport as I graduated high school and entered my first Walleye tournament that summer. I quickly realized that I had a lot to learn before I would truly be competing!
A couple years later I met up with my current tournament partner Steve Slabe and began finishing well in local tournaments. Tournaments helped me focus my love of fishing on learning about the fine details that can turn an average day on the water into an exceptional one. There is something new to be learned every time you hit the water, I have learned over the years that even when you think you have it figured out, things will change. Walleyes have become my favorite fish to target because they are tough to consistently figure out. There are lots of Walleye Tournament Anglers today, few of which consistently place at the top of the pack which has become a goal of mine.
Steve and I have been fishing together since 2006. We won our first tournament together in 2008, and have consistently been towards the top of the leader board ever since.
In 2009 we decided to fish an entire series together to see how we would stack up against the best Walleye anglers in our area. At the end of the year we found ourselves in 8th place in the Team of the Year Standings, which qualified us for the MWS Championship as well as a bid into the Cabelas National Team Championship (NTC) in 2010. We also won the Menominee event on September 13 with 4 Walleyes weighing 34.52 pounds! We took 6th place in the MWS Championship, and were very pleased with our season overall.
2010 started off with a bang, as we placed 3rd in the Red Banks Walleye Tournament on the Wolf River. Our next event was the Masters Walleye Circuit/NTC. After the first day of this 352 boat tournament, we found ourselves in 5th place! Day 2 however, was tough for us as a strong cold front swept through the area and really made our bite tough. We ended up taking 22nd in the NTC and 34th in the MWC, both money finishes.
In 2011 we again chose to fish the MWS, and this time we had specific goals in mind. Our goals were to take the Team of the Year Title, qualify for the NTC, and win the Championship. Although it came down to a close finish at the final event of the season, we accomplished goal #1, Team of the Year! This also meant that we had an automatic, expenses paid bid into the NTC. We had a great pre-fish for the championship and felt like we were in position to accomplish goal #3, but we were narrowly edged out by 0.80 pounds and ended up taking 2nd. Despite coming up a little short on our final goal, Steve and I had a great year and had high hopes for 2012.
In 2012 Steve and I only fished 3 tournaments, since we had planned on fishing the NTC on Lake Mille Lacs in central Minnesota which would consume a week of our time and lots of our fishing funds with travel and lodging. After a good week of pre-fishing we found ourselves amongst the leaders of the event after the first two days and had a chance at winning $30,000 cash and a new Ranger Boat. Despite weighing the heaviest bag of Walleyes on the final day, we came up less than a pound short and had to settle with 2nd place.
The 2013 tournament season also had its ups and downs, but we once again managed to place in the top 25 in the team of the years standing in the MWS and qualified for the championship which we placed 2nd in. We also took 3rd place in the Lake Winnebago event and 4th place in the Upriver Lakes event. Overall we took a top 10 finish in 3 of the 5 events we fished this past season, which leaves us with high expectations for 2014!
In 2011 I decided to start my own fishing blog, which I have found to be both challenging and rewarding. My blog topics include; Walleye tournament news, new product reviews, current fishing reports, fishing tactics, and also how-to instructionals. I really enjoy writing articles that people can learn something new that will help them have a better fishing experience. I have recently been asked to write articles for Born To Fish Magazine, which expands my platform even further. Since having a child, I have found my free time for blogging has been compromised, which will hopefully come around in the near future!
Since the young age of 14 I have been a working man. I began my working career at McDonalds, making $5.15 an hour. As I turned 18, I was immediately promoted to manager, which presented new challenges and helped me see the world through different eyes. I was now responsible for managing employees, ordering product, opening and closing the restaurant, banking, dealing with customer complaints, and many other challenging duties of a manager of a fast food restaurant. I feel that being put in a management position at such a young age has shaped the kind of person I have become today.
Throughout college I worked at two local Land Surveying/Civil Engineering firms as a surveyor. Once I graduated college, this experience teamed with solid recommendations from these summer jobs helped me land a job with the City of Green Bay as an Engineering Aide. The only downfall to the job was the residency requirement. A job posting from the City of Appleton was mentioned to me by a co-worker so I decided to apply. To my surprise, I was offered the position over nearly 100 other applicants, and was faced with a potential life changing decision. To this day, I am glad that I accepted the job, as everything has fallen into place in my life since then.
Today, I am married to my high school sweetheart Carmen, living in our modest home, raising our first child Weston. Carmen is a Dental Hygienist working for Midwest Dental, while I work for the City of Appleton as an Engineering Technician. My job duties vary greatly throughout the year. During the winter months, I spend my time behind a desk working in AutoCAD and GIS Software. The rest of the year is spent outside doing a variety of tasks including; land surveying, sewer & water inspection, utility locating, and paving inspection. My day job allows me to take time off and pre-fish for tournaments.
During the non-tournament season, I enjoy chasing Great Lakes Trout around the many Ports and Tributaries of Lake Michigan here in Wisconsin. I especially enjoy catching Trout through the ice, as they are challenging to make bite, and even more challenging to land once hooked! The use of the Automatic Fisherman has been a huge aide in my Trout Fishing success!
If you would like to get a hold of me regarding any fishing related questions, feel free to stop in the forums section of the blog or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am also always looking for sponsors to help me continue to pursue my dreams on the water!