How long have you been fishing?
I’ve been fishing since my childhood. I think I was 6 or 7 years old when my mom convinced my dad that he and I should take up fishing. We started out fishing at some stocked ponds and progressed to fishing from the causeways on local reservoirs. It was very simple and very wonderful. Two fishing poles, a small tackle box, a bucket and some bait and we were all set. I can still remember the day I caught my first walleye. I’ve been hooked ever since!
What inspired you to become a Lund Pro-Staff?
That’s simple, your boats! I’ve owned my share of boats, including some of the top brands in tournament walleye rigs and nothing comes close to Lund in quality and fishing features. They are truly built by fishermen, for fishermen.
Can you tell us the largest fish you have ever caught?
The largest fish I’ve caught to date was a 100 lb Bull Shark while vacationing in Florida. It was just like in the movie “Jaws”. The line barely twitched and then the reel went tic-tic-tic. Then, all of a sudden the fish took off with the bait, I set the hook and it was game on! I’ve caught some special fish throughout the years and each one has its place. My first walleye on Lake Erie with my dad, a 12 lb steelhead, my first 10 lb walleye, the first 6 lb smallmouth, and the list goes on but that shark made me think twice about taking a dip in the bay!
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Youngstown, OH. I spent some time traveling and living in different areas of the country, but for some reason I always came back to my hometown in Ohio. I not quite sure why, but I think it was the fishing! There are several local reservoirs within a short drive that have fantastic walleye, bass and crappie fishing. On top of that you’ve got some of the best walleye and smallmouth bass fishing in the world with Lake Erie only an hour or two away. Throw in the steelhead fishing along the Lake Erie tributaries known as “Steelhead Alley” and it’s an angler’s paradise.
Where do you mostly fish and what tournaments can we see you in this season?
I really enjoy fishing the inland reservoirs in Ohio. They can be challenging at times but the results are well worth the effort. Of course it’s hard to resist the amazing walleye fishing on Lake Erie. Numbers of fish, big fish, lots of big fish and then some, Erie has it all! As for tournaments this season I’m looking forward to fishing as many of the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit events as I can get to along with local tournaments on the inland lakes and Lake Erie.
What is the best fishing tip that you ever received?
“The walleye are in the weeds.” Prior to this tip, I was caught up in traditional thinking as far as walleye behavior and location. There can’t be walleye in the weeds, I thought, but there were! Afterwards, I learned that you have to truly understand the predator-prey relationship and a fish’s environment to understand the reasons for its behavior and its location patterns throughout the season. It’s been so long ago that I’m not sure where I first read or heard about the “weed walleye” but this tip changed my way of thinking and my approach to fishing.
In what ways are you involved in the angling community?
As a member of Lund Boats and other pro-staffs I get to interact with anglers at boat and sports shows, tournaments and special events like the Angler Young Angler tournaments and other charitable events. I present a series of walleye fishing seminars every season and will do so again in 2012. I’m also a freelance outdoors writer and I co-host a local outdoors radio show. It seems no matter where I go, someone wants to talk fishing and that’s just fine with me!
Pick five words to describe yourself.
Passionate, Creative, Funny, Honest & Caring
What is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever bought?
Before I got my first real boat I bought a two man inflatable raft for my dad and I to fish out of. We actually used it about a half dozen times before we came to our senses. We would inflate the raft and paddle around fishing on small ponds and strip pits. The raft eventually developed a leak and was rightfully retired.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
You buy quality once! This advice has held true with anything I’ve ever purchased, but it really applies to boats, motors and fishing equipment. Purchasing the highest quality products that you can afford will save you time, money and frustration in the long run while providing years of satisfaction, lasting value and a greater re-sale value than lower quality products.
What trait do you admire in people?
I really admire people who are passionate about what they do. Whether it’s about their career, family or hobby, I like to be around people who are excited and committed to their passion.
What was the best year of your life?
That’s a really tough question. I’d be hard pressed to pick any one year or a single event or occurrence during a given year that would make it stand out as the best amongst all the other good years. I’ve been really fortunate in my personal and professional life. There have been some rough years mixed in, but I think the best is yet to come.
What’s your worst habit?
I can be a bit obsessive at times. I’ve gotten much better at controlling this habit in recent years, but I sometimes still find myself getting way too caught up in a lot of small details that will usually take care of themselves.
What’s your favorite model of Lund to fish out? Why?
I absolutely love my 2075 Pro-V IFS/SE. The boat’s performance and ride is amazing. It has tons of storage and can do it all. I know that no matter what conditions I may face or whatever presentation technique may be required that my 2075 Pro-V will get me there and back and that it will allow me to fish to the best of my ability.
Anything else you would like to say to our entire staff at Lund Boats?
Thank you for building the finest fishing boats on the water. My Lund allows me to be the best that I can be and it’s because of all of you being the best at what you do. Your products are a testament to your pride in craftsmanship and your commitment to quality. It’s an honor and a privilege to be part of the Lund team and I’m proud to be a part of the Lund tradition and family.