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Muskie Fishing, Is there

Staff Writer You may think that with this being April and Simply Fishing launching the very first true web-magazine fishing periodical, you would be reading about some hot new bait, such as those in the new A-Team Tackle line. Not so. In our opinion you are reading something far more important. We would like to take you into a new world, the world of the lodge owner. This past season I had the pleasure of fishing with a few lodge owners, something I had never done before. From those experiences, I learned a great deal about these people, who they really are and how they feel regarding our muskie future. During the course of fishing with them, I couldn’t help but notice how our conversations revolved around what I thought about the sport and its inherent direction. This in turn led to some questions and responses from them which I would like to share with you. Keep in mind that these folks are the stewards of our shorelines and will without question have an impact on the future of muskie fishing. I spoke with a group of muskie lodge owners including Randy Tyran of Century Lodge on Eagle Lake, Eric Brown Sr. and Jr. of Wiley Point Lodge on Lake of the Woods, Eric and Mary Hanson of Pehrson’s Lodge and Resort on Lake Vermilion and Ed Tausk of Vermilion Dam Lodge, also on beautiful Lake Vermilion in Minnesota’s north woods. Randy and Eric Jr. are second and third generation owners, respectively, and in both cases were taught well by their parents the ideologies that produce a well run facility. Eric and Mary, on the other hand, have eleven years of experience running Pehrson’s, while Ed has been managing Vermilion Dam Lodge for ten years. But first a little background on Simply Fishing television, the vehicle that provided me with this insider’s view of the lodge business. During my early years of shooting for television, things were tough. We were struggling to produce quality muskie programming, and to do so, we needed support from independent lodge owners. In our minds, this all seemed simple. Our formula included a brief visit to a lodge facility, where we would shoot a quality muskie show. When we aired our program, the lodge would garner the benefit of the television exposure. However, we quickly realized there were objections to our plan. For the most part, many lodges felt there weren’t enough muskie anglers to even bother marketing to, and questioned what the big deal was with muskies. Then there were the owners that felt, based on their own observations, that the average muskie angler didn’t want to spend the kind of money required to stay at some of these camps or lodges, and for the most part any lodge money spent on such marketing would prove fruitless. Despite all the objections, we ultimately prevailed. We eventually found enough willing lodge owners to actually attempt shooting a muskie specialty series, and the rest is history. However, what value is there in history if we don’t learn from it or the trends it sets forth? How much different would history have read, if we hadn’t succeeded? This too would have played into today’s outcome. I truly didn’t realize the impact of our presence until a recent conversation with many lodge owners regarding this scenario. What’s interesting is that we at Simply Fishing and other organizations such as Muskies, Inc. succeeded. Muskie fishing has grown by leaps and bounds, and lodge owners feel very different about us, the muskie angler, than they did only a decade ago. The proof is in what you’re about read. When we asked each lodge owner where they felt their fishery would be in the next few years, I heard there A Great Future ?