Sunday, November 12, 2017

2017 Fishing Careers Workshop Offers Advice and Insight into Fishing Industry

The old question among anglers, 'how do I make a career in the fishing industry?'   This question drove fishing legend Al Lindner, his son Troy Lindner and ten other top notch fishing industry leaders to share their passion, successes and advice with a room full of eager participants at Cragun's Resort in Brainerd Minnesota.

Capitol Outdoors, Al Lindner,
Various high schoolers and established industry leaders from 14 states and Providence of Quebec, attended the 2017 Fishing Careers Workshop and then there's little ole' me.

Growing up in the 90's, In-Fisherman was the YouTube of today, anglers read and watched Al Lindner and others teach fishing tactics and how to's.  He wasn't just a TV personality, he was someone I looked up to.  What kid/adult wouldn't want his job?  Making videos about fishing, the dream job!

I saw on Al's Facebook page that he was putting on a Fishing Careers Workshop and I signed up right away.  Not only for the opportunity to meet Al, but to listen and learn.  What did this legend have to say about his career?  What did it take for him to get there and stay there?  Al wasn't the only one discussing and answering these type of questions.  Some of Minnesota's top fishing industry leaders explained their passion, successes, advice and even mishaps.

Al began the day with a welcome speech.
"The fishing industry is like a big chain. all those involved and here today are just one link and as the industry grows, so does the chain. For some of you, this is going to change your life, I absolutely know it".
Sounds cliche, however I wondered time and time again, was I one of the participants in this room that would truly benefit from attending or is this a big waste of time and money?

View from our resort room on Gull Lake

In my youth athletics and academia were important to me.  During that time, I was fortunate enough to hear and attend some educational and disappointing seminars, conferences and motivational speeches.  I've been in the room where a homeless vet is crying on stage, because he has no one or nowhere to go; to hearing the President of the United State talk.  In order to gain the knowledge and wisdom of the speakers you can't take their words at face value, you have to look deeper, you have to look for your story or other words read between the lines.

Minutes into the Fishing Careers Workshop, my story was developing. 
"I couldn't wait to get home from school so I could hop on my bike to go down to the local creek or pond to go fishing." said Seth Fieder.  
Many of the other speakers echoed similar stories.  What they didn't realize was, 700 miles away my story was also taking place. I was that kid that would rush home and jump on his bike to go fishing.  I was outside, fishing, hunting and enjoying the outdoors.

Its easy to get wrapped into the TV personalities and the professional bass anglers, but there is so much more to the industry then those two professions.  We heard from anglers like Tom Neustrom (Professional Guide), Seth Fieder (Elite Series Pro), Tim Collete (Conservation Officer), Marc Bacigalupi (Area Fisheries Supervisor MDNR), John Janousek (Sales Rep for Rassat Outdoors Group)  Brett McComas (Producer,Target Walleye/Ice Stout Outdoors), Mark Fisher (Director of Field Promotions for Rapala USA), Grant Prokop (Independent Retailer at Thousand Lakes Sporting Goods), Matt Johnson (Ice Team Manager/Pro Staff Director for Clam Outdoors), Mike Hehner (Field Producer for Lund's Ultimate Fishing Experience), Bill Lindner (Commercial Photographer and Videographer at Bill Lindner Photography) and Joel Nelson (Joel Nelson Outdoors). Each one of these speakers had their story of passion and perseverance and vital information on how they became a success in the industry and life.

When you have ten different speakers plus two influential locals and others from different aspects of the fishing industry in the same room, you're going to learn something. Common themes kept breaking the surface, like a giant bass fighting to break free from an anglers line. Can you catch it?   Fishing is not a passion its a lifestyle. Hard work, dedication and persistence are key to success and all of these speakers live, eat and breath this philosophy.

Capitol Outdoors and Al Linnder
Al Lindner with Michael Rasmussen, the start of something big.

Its this philosophy that you have to incorporate into your goals and dreams.  You see, your dreams are like a new lure, their expensive, bright, and full of life.  What happens when you snag that tree on your first cast?  Do you snap the line and call it a day?  No, you do everything in your power to get that lure back.  Its about striving to grow, pushing yourself farther than you've ever gone before.

About nine hours and many speakers later, my eureka moment came within the last few minutes.  It was a culmination of bits and pieces from each speaker, puzzle pieces that came together to give me something that's honestly hard to put into words.  It wasn't motivation, it wasn't inspiration it was something more.

It goes back to Al's introduction,  I'm part of the fishing industry, while my link is still being molded it is still apart of that chain and as the chain grows so will I.  I guess Al's statement that "this workshop will change someone's life" wasn't so cliche after all.

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