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I grew up in Lakeville, Minnesota with my twin brother Amos. We may have lived down in the hustle and bustle of big town living but the water and woods ran through our veins.
My brother and I used to fish in places no one would ever think of. If there was water we would fish it. You would find us down in the local ponds, drainage ditches, creeks, and lakes. If we could get there on bikes, we fished it. We'd catch everything in those ponds. We would even host fishing tournaments in them. We printed off flyers and went door to door dropping them off just looking for kids to fish in our tournaments. They would show up with one exception, we couldn't fish. There would be 20 to 30 kids with their parents surrounding the neighborhood pond.
Growing up, we fished on our own a lot learning from each other's success and failure, but we had many mentors along the way. Unlike most kids, Saturday mornings you would find us watching fishing shows instead of cartoons. In the summer we would travel up to Pine River, Minnesota where our Great Grandpa Verge lived. He'd get out his row boat, cane poles, and Folgers can filled with crawlers and take us out crushing big blue gills. We fished walleyes quite a bit with our dad, but we really became obsessed with them when we met our Grandpa Al. He lived on Lake Mille Lacs and was a walleye genius in our eyes. He would take us jigging, rigging, crank baiting, and slip bobbering them walleyes, and like two young sponges we soaked up everything he showed us.
We finally moved to the Grand Rapids area in 1999. We felt at home instantly with lakes, rivers, and woods all around us. I was in heaven. After graduating from Grand Rapids High School, I started working for the USDA Wildlife Services. I worked for them for just about ten years trapping wolves and beaver, shooting cormorants, and doing many other activities involving human wildlife conflicts. In 2007, I married my high school sweetheart and soon after we had a baby boy. He is now four and is already obsessed with the outdoors. We currently just had another baby boy. The family is growing.
Grand Rapids has offered me all kinds of species to pursue and help me hone in my skills. I chase everything from trout to pan fish and everything in-between. Over the years I have learned where to find fish and how to catch them. What I love about fishing and hunting is changing conditions and patterns. You have to adapt and find out what works and what doesn't. That is what drives me, that is what makes me go out day after day and want more. My brother and I are now hooked on walleye tournaments and the emotion from which conspires from it. You can find me in the woods or on the water!