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Ray Gildow

Hometown: Staples, MN

I am a retired Vice President of Central Lakes College with campuses in Brainerd and Staples, Minnesota. I am a member of the Nisswa Guides League, Minnesota's oldest guide league started in 1967 by Ron and Al Lindner. I have been a member of the league since 1989. I used to fish 4 or 5 tournaments every year but now I concentrate on guiding the money is more regular!

I fish about 40 lakes in Central Minnesota from Mille Lacs to Leech. Our league has provided over 46,000 guide trips since 1967 with everyone from Kirby Pucket to Govenor Jessie Ventura.

I am the author of the book; Legends and Legacies; The History of the Nisswa Guides League. The book was featured in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, is featured in the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame and one of the sponsor of the book is Lund Boats.

Who is your sponsoring dealer?

My sponsor is Staples Sports. Larry Godejohn, the owner, and I have worked together in sports shows and fishing tournaments since he started in the boating business.

How many years have you been on the Lund Pro-Staff?

Since 1987

What's the highlight of your fishing career so far?

Fishing with District Judge Susan Wright. She is the judge who presided over the Bill and Hillary Clinton Whitewater case before Clinton became president. She was fascinating to fish with and she was having a "secret" training session at Craguns Resort on Gull Lake with United States Supreme Court Justice John Roberts. The press never knew they were in town.

How long have you been fishing?

I have been fishing since I was 2 years old. That would make it 64 years since I am 66.

What inspired you to become a Lund Pro-Staff?

My friend Larry Godejohn from Staples Sports thought it would be a good way to help him get the word out about his business so he signed me up with Lund Boats.

Can you tell us the largest fish you have ever caught?

52 Muskie on Leech, 60 inch King Salmon on the Kenai River and a 32 Walleye.

Where do you mostly fish and what tournaments can we see you in this season?

I don't fish tournaments anymore but I do fish a large area of Central Minnesota through the Nisswa Guides League from Leech Lake to Mille Lacs.

What is the best fishing tip or advice that you ever received?

Put the plug in! Be flexible if one species isn't biting go try another.

In what ways are you involved in the angling community?

I work with the Minnesota Fishing Museum. I do a number of speaking engagements on fishing and my book every year. I write newspaper articles from time to time. I work sports shows for Lund and Quantum Tackle Company. I do a weekly fishing report in Brainerd on Brainerd Outdoors a weekly radio show. I am a volunteer with Let's Go Fishing and I donate my time to help out a variety of fishing events.

Pick five words to describe yourself.

Kind, fair, funny, hard working and honest.

What is the most ridiculous thing you've ever bought?

A 1972 Vega. It wouldn't go over 55 miles per hour in a strong wind.

What trait do you admire in people?


What was the best year of your life?

1976, the year I married my wife.

What's your worst habit?


What's your favorite model of Lund to fish out of?

2025 Pro V.

Anything else you would like to say to our entire staff at Lund Boats?

Lund has often promoted that they are now into the fiberglass business when in reality they started in the fiberglass boat business in the mid 70's and in the 80's produced a fiberglass boat called "The Nisswa Guides League". You and all of us in the fishing business, Al Lindner, Gary Roach and others have lived through the greatest growth and the worst recession every imagined. It is nice to see that Lund, unlike many other boat companies, has survived and today is back on track to grow again. It is a tribute to the fine quality of Lund boats and the care and hard work of all its employees.


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