Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
Bigwater Fishing with Ross Robertson
Bigwater Fishing with Ross Robertson

Episode 40 · 3 months ago

Pete Maina - Muskie and Pike Pro Angler

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Pete Maina is North America’s number one authority on Muskie and Pike fishing. He is internationally known for his prowess with muskie, northern pike – big toothy fishes! He is an entrepreneur, an accomplished author, photographer and TV personality. 

Pete has authored books, countless articles and educational VIDEOS – as well as being a very popular speaker and “personality” at fishing events and sport shows throughout North America. Pete Maina was named as one of the “Top 20 Anglers on the Planet” by Outdoor Life Magazine (June/2011).  

Pete works on product development and promotion with the top companies in the fishing industry, specializing in large-predator tackle and associated products. Conservation and “fisheries health” are extremely important; ultimately most important! (As well as having fun, so Pete’s goal is combining great how-to information/education with FUN, asking “Who Says Fishing Ain’t Cool?”) Realizing this, Pete has been a leader in educating and promoting catch and release, selective harvest, proper (most fish-friendly) handling – and simply getting folks excited about putting “Fisheries First” for decades. 

 Pete has appeared as an expert on numerous TV shows, regularly-so on the Midwest’s most popular TV show – “John Gillespie’s Waters and Woods”, as well as appearances on Mark Zona’s “Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show” on The Outdoor Channel and Dave Mercer’s “Facts of Fishing” on WFN; and has filmed multiple muskie segments for Bass Pro Shop’s “Outdoor World”.  

Pete is a pro-staffer and product consultant for: Amsoil, Bigtooth Tackle Co., Clam Outdoors, Livingston Lures, Campion Boats, Seaguar, Lakewood Tackle Boxes, Savage Gear, Johnson Pumps, and Eagle Claw.  

Capt. Ross Robertson has made his complete living chasing walleye as a full time professional angler for more than 20 years. Through the years he has worn many hats including time as a fishing guide, boat salesman, TV host, outdoor writer, product designer, tournament fisherman, speaker, radio host and podcaster to name a few.

 Ross fishes ice-out to ice-up on the Great Lakes. He spends the majority of the year walleye fishing on Lake Erie’s Western and Central basins.  

Check out more from Bigwater Fishing https://www.facebook.com/BigwaterFishing/ https://www.instagram.com/bigwaterfishing/ http://bigwaterfishing.com/ Download Bigwater Fishing Podcast Episodes iTunes https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/bigwater-fishing-with-ross-robertson/id1508243662Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/bigwater-fishing-podcastSpotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0i8zS8tQumNGYGAXqKLX45Google Podcasts https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5zb3VuZGVyLmZtLzI1NzIvcnNzLnhtbA?sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiW4-OnvY7rAhXYCc0KHX7lBRQQ4aUDegQIARAC&hl=en

Sorry, producer. Dude, here we go. You know, you have said, or other people have said, I have a big personality, and I know that's a nice way to say some else. However, I think we have a guy who is like the personality, like he's way before me. This guy's like an industry veteran. He's done all kinds of stuff. He has a mullet and I don't know if we're going to get into this, but he has a man Keenni on a video. He did that like I know you guys got to be fifty some years old. He's in a man Keenni with a pink hat and you that was my first introduction to this man. And, by the way, what is his name? Say His name for me. I'm probably gonna get in trouble here. Pete Mania. Okay, befinky, the Muskie man. I do want to point out we've got him now ready to go, but we had a little trouble getting him going because Ross kept telling me his name was Pete Mania. Then he'd sent me a May in the mail that said Mania. You know I mean in fairness, if they hold on, hold on me and the email to get go, get the link to this. He didn't get it because Ross sent me the wrong email. When he didn't get it, Ross sent him a link for another podcast. So actually, if you check your phone, which we're probably gonna have to do you, we're gonna have to put some money on this. The correct name was given at the end and you didn't look at it. And then, yes, I send him the wrong email for yet another podcast, but because you didn't do your job in the first place. But I mean, I'm hoping that this podcast is going to go somewhere and bring it out of the ditch that we're in. Now. I see him, he's ready to go, so perfect. So they oh, I don't know where this is going to go, and this guy's like me. You'RE gonna have to like jerk his shoulders keep on the tracks, I think. So, without any further ado, we're going to bring in the Musky Maniac himself, Mr Pete Mania. Welcome back to the big water podcast. Pete Mania, is that prize? That proper, because I can't spell it. It's you know, it's actually Mana, and that's why you can't spell it right, because I can't even say it. You want to call me the maniac mania, which I understand. You know, I've actually had that mistake for years and years. And that brings me right into the first thing. So when I told you, because I mean we're kind of a Walleye group. That's kind of what my guys are, but you know, we've had everybody on you could ever imagine, and you know we like guys that are good at what they do, Mr Pete, and so when I started telling my producer like, Hey, we want to have this Musky Guy, and he goes a Musky Guy, and so I give them your info and he starts looking up and producer, do you want to you want to tell them what your first question was for me? What's the deal with the man Keeni? Oh Gosh, you saw the man Kini. That was first thing I sent. It was my introduction to you, Pete. Hey, that's what Ross sent me and I went what, what's going on? That is brutal. That was kind of on a bat. I do this GIG killing winter every spring for over a decade now and I wear my pink hat and that's that. In the other soul, I got challenged by boat company sponsor at the time, joking around at an event that the next killing winner. I need to wear a bull at Keini and think and of course you know it's something you really shouldn't do. I mean it's all it's terrible. My father was embarrassed, everybody there was embarrassed, but I couldn't help it. I had to do it, so we did it. We're here's the obvious question. You people that don't know you. Me and you were both like about what? Six three? You about six three too? We're buxte. Yeah, you got an answer. Me So, but we're tall, pretty lean guys. Where does a guy that six foot to find a man Kini that's what I wanted to run off the back is if, for right now, if producer do says hey, this is a thousand dollar bet, where do you even go about Findal One? That's that's the big question. You find them online and I think it's kind of a one size fits all.

In yesterday an unbelievable yard ape with a huge belly. They're they're pretty stretchy, let's just say they're not real kind of the lower unit, but we're looking at it right now. So it's go on. That embarrassment when you did that in your dad and everybody it's your poor wife. I'm in back because we're showing it right now for yourself, your wife, if you're listening, go over to Youtube and check out Pete's man Kini God. So I want to get back to this pink thing. What is it like? You know, not a lot of the girls like pink, this pink hat thing. When I you know, way before I knew you, I saw the pink. I don't even know what kind of hat it was. It had little bows and something coming off of it, but the pink significance. There's got to be some story to that. Now, well, believe it or not, there is a story behind it. I was actually trying to help out a aspiring musician who was also addicted to muskie fishing and it was kind of his deal. Originally. These pink fuzzy hat, okay, and so I would go around new seminars wearing this hat and talking about this Brian Shram guy and his fishing album's. At the time he was writing fishing related music and it just kind of stuck and then eventually I found someone. I was at the Madison fishing next bowl and there was a person there who made custom hats who had a pink fish hat, and at that point I switched over because it's really cool. It got the little eyeballs and in the little fish tail on it, and so that that has been the new pink hat for how about ten years now? Producer. Dude, I'm seeing a lot of similarities, sure, between me and Pete these. Some of these things don't really make there's not a great story make a lot of sense, but we just do it anyhow. Is this kind of sound like our deal? It? It does. Yeah, I mean here's a lot of times I wonder what the hell you're doing too. So who had? Yeah, well, if you ever wonder, just watch Petez killing winner video and then all of a sudden I start looking almost normal. Well maybe, maybe we'll put you in a man Kini. Yeah, I already knew that was going to come up, sny rate. Let's get back to the real, the real mad man of the hour, Pete. So you're a Muskie guy. Give me, give us the people. You know. A lot of my crowd may not know you know, they know probably about you, because everybody knows pete the Musky Guy. But give me a little like behind the scenes here, because you know, as we sit here. We're now in technology. Twenty, five, thirty years or whatever it's Ben plus later, you've been in the fishing business. How does a guy, I mean I'm sure it's just like me, you always say, Hey, I want to fish and I want to find a way to make a living fishing about how is that become a reality for you, kind of starting out of the gate? That was simply genetics, somewhat bolstered by the fact that I grew up on a fishing resort, and in those days, I mean that's literally the only thing people came to resorts it did. There was, you know, no jet skis or anything like that. They literally everybody was Fisher people, and I just you know, from the first time I caught anything off the dock, I was absolutely addicted to it. I had my my folks still have the resort and I became a backup guide at the last minute. was somebody being sick or something. I forget the exact exact details there, but I went out and rolled the bolder on for guy and he caught up. He caught a nice muskie and, Gosh I gotta I got a tip, I got a pocket knife, I got it was really kind of neat and I started guiding full time at the age of fourteen and just you know, in reality I was supposed to go to college. I did pretty well in school. A lot of people are shocked by that, but I was in too. Yeah, I was actually supposed to go to college and told I would starve to...

...death if I didn't. But I decided I had to make a living fishing, so I just it started strictly with guiding and in passion and just tons of time on the water. But that all built up to where by the by the time I was in my early twenties, I was really kind of known for Muskie. Already then I had guided all species, but by nineteen or so I actually had enough guiding business that I decided to do exclusively muskies. Wallow Musky season was open and it was a personal addiction. And then you know, to to a certain extent being multi species is great, but when you really focus on one thing and you know if you get a good reputation with it, if you're doing well at that, it just really kind of kind of grew. That's been my main focus. I've always been an ice fisherman, multi species Angler, but I'm I'm known by far, you know, open water muskies, you know, is really what the GIG has been. And and I never had a plan at all. You know, you and I talked about that a little bit, but the whole idea was just to make a living. And young people ask me, you know, how do you do the business and this at in the other and you know the real answers and struggle. You just do everything that you possibly can. I didn't have any money. I had, you know, to buy boats and stuff like that, and I bar attended and pounded nails and trolled concrete and troubled poop and whatever. You know, the the the list of jobs was many, but I believe it was when I was twenty nine I actually no longer had a winner job of any kind and at that point I was able to completely let make my living off of fish. And so, yeah, that's I remember you telling me a little while back. There boy, you had a car that the doors crushed right off. The kids nowadays, you know, they roll into this thinking that they're going to be driving denalies and all this stuff out of the game and it's like now, that's not usually how it kind of starts least not see hug did it? How? Me and you did. No, no, I threw the door open on the truck to one day and there it was banging on the boat landing. Had to throw up in the back seat. Welled it on later. You know that is well, you just don't rust. They don't rust anymore, like to, like they used to do that. I mean my dad had one had a hole in the floor. You can see the road go by and that was growing up. It's no rust. Yeah, none. A certain brands seem to more than others, but I would agree with that. So you think people, as asked me all the time, like man, how can we even get into Bass Fish? And you know, and it'd be so much easier. You make so much more money and truthfully, I hate I call them, you know, ditch pickles or green carp or whatever, but I grew up on the shores of Lake area, so you know that's kind of Walleye central and it has been forever. You know what I mean, like that's the you're not into Marlin fishing, you know, when you grow up on the shores of the Lake Erie. Is that kind of the same for you, because people that don't know. You were around the Hayward area right which is like I mean that's like Musky Lores and they're a fishing hall of fame or something right there. Yeah, that, you know. I think that's a big part of it too. Everything's arguable, but you know, I think northern Wisconsin in general, and especially the hayward areas just always been the Musky Lord Neal and there's been a battle for years over who's the actual Musky capital in the world between Hayward and Bolder junction. But yeah, it's it's just what it's known for and I think years ago the Musky fisheries have expanded quite a bit. There were a few natural fisheries in Minnesota, but not a whole pile of them. There's Leech Lake and some different places, but most of the fisheries there are stock fisheries. The same thing to a certain extent in Michigan, where northern Wisconsin just had all kinds of natural musky water the river, tons of the inland lakes and basically anyone...

...who wanted to go muskie fishing from, certainly the Chicago area, twin cities area and nearby. I mean that was that was the place to go. I mean we were it, you know, and much more so than any place else in the world. So I think, you know, just sad idea that it was probably fifty percent of the people that came to the Hayward area. While you can fish pan fishing, Bass and Waliyes, of you know, there's obviously about other species here, but you know, the big, big focus was muskie and it it seemed like the most hype things. Well, but personally I just I really got into it. You know, you have these little personal things that hit and it's like I got to be the best of fist and catch the most of these and the biggest of these if at all possible, and you know that was just kind of my my goal, but I was striving for first and I mean I think back in the day, because we had had linder on the podcast a little while ago and he talked about Tad. Do you remember? It was either as uncle or someone in his family was as grandparents that had a family place on a small lake up there on Hayward, and so they would go from Chicago to go up there and that's where a lot of people of money out of the cities went right and they went to fishing resort land and so you've almost had some built in clientles, kind of like us. It was a destination place. Yeah, well, you know, the lenders used to fish grindstone, a tong which is only about thirty minutes up the road. For me, I fish a quite a bit grindstone and Cooteray, or connected together, and they mainly fish grindstone, from what I understand, and then a little bit on couderay. But yeah, they spent a lot of time over this way. So I'm interested for my own spark sparky over there. You know, it's like me. I'm sure that my my high school English teacher, you know, was rolling in her grave as she sees some of my stuff or whatever. But now you know I write for a lot of magazines and I wrote a book and I've seen you, you know, you've done put the pain down a lot Er and worked with a lot of stuff like that, and you know, I see a lot of seminars and things that you do and from the guys out there, especially the younger kids, all this college fishing thing. I mean, I think I already know your answer, but you know, a guy like you that doesn't have any formal training like that. Like, how do you just roll into you know, this is what we're going to do? Seminars and particles? Actually, it's actually kind of interesting that I, believe it or not, taught myself how to type on an old man I don't know if they call it manual or whatever, but the old old typewriter. When I was started ask to start writing articles, I literally didn't know how to type. I could have taken that in high school and I didn't because I was thinking I'm going to fish. WHO NEEDS RIPE? And you know they're it was really in my in my mid twenties already. All of a sudden I you know, I was gaining enough notoriety that people were asking neither do seminars and right articles, and I did a tremendous amount of writing. I don't do a whole lot at this stage, I think. You know, social media time is just taken up a lot of that and but I I got pretty proficient at it. wrote a couple of books as well, actually two serious ones and two must be suck books, which are fun ones. I'm not that's a good title. Musky sucks. I like that. Yeah, well, let's it's caught on over the years and in reality, you know, I really got the idea just from the fact that, you know, it is a crazy addiction and it really, you know, affects lives and relationships and some of the funny angles on that. After all of the how to and we're too and stuff that I'd done, I thought, you know what, I'm gonna just kind of tell the story of basically getting addicted to him and how you end up only hanging around other addicted people and you know it, it pretty much affects everything in...

...your life when you're literally seven every day. You know, average day was sixteen hours when I was younger. That's part of the reason I caught a lot of fish or just doing it all the time right. So, you know, guiding wasn't enough. I do doubledays sometimes, but if I only had a single job, it wasn't like I was done muskie fish and I was back at it. So how is a guide like yourself there? I'm not trying to dig you, because I mean people say the same thing about me, but do you just decide one day im going to write a book and you do it yourself, or do you kind of partner with somebody to help kind of put because there's having written one. I don't think people understand there is so much that goes into it. I mean like, as an example, something I learned because I self published mine, was you have to figure out what weight paper you're going to use, how many pages you have to put that together, and then there's a formula to see how high that's going to be so that you then you can design your the spine of the book. You know I means these things you just don't think about. It's not just putting something down and into some program or something that you know puts. They might even had when you started doing some of your first stuff. But there's so much that goes into and I'm wondering just how you like said Boom, you know. Well, that's the too serious books were through fishing hot spots years ago and a guy by the name of Russ Werry actually edited those and put them all together and took care of all of that and of it for me. With regard to the Muskie suck books, I did all the writing myself and basically all the editing, but I did work with on the first one with Steve Hiding at at Muski Hunter magazine at the time and he work for and he he handled some of those details of what you're talking about. I basically just, you know, wrote it at the pictures and and I handled the illustrations with a guy and went over things, but you know, as far as actually producing the book it self, those details I left up to him. There's a lot of time and stuff that goes into they ain't there like all of yeah. So I think one of the most intriguing things I have is is the when you started a Musky Bluer Company, and I don't know any about this other than just you know, I said, I still have some of those lures. But again, how does that take place? You roll into hey doing seminars. Here's another way to make a buck. These lures suck, I'm going to make my own. Is that kind of how that goes? Yeah, in reality it's kind of funny with that. You know, I haven't told you this. I I basically spent about that five six years with the idea of banging around on my head, more from clients than anything. They were like, Oh, you got to make lures, you got to make lures. I Lam not going to make lures. Everybody makes lures. Blah, Blah Blah. My favorite bates by far, just because you're the one that imparts the action into the lure. Because Jerk Bates I always a still to this day. I really enjoy it more than anything. Obviously you got to let the fish tell you what's what they're in the mood for, but I've always loved jerk bates and there weren't near as near as many bits on the market in those days. There was only a handful of them. There were none that were plastic and there was only one other company, I believe, at the time, making any kind of plastic Muski Bates. That was Joe Booker and but there was no jerk bits and I most of the jury pits from big and some, you know, varying degrees of hardness of wood. But the hooking percentages were lousy, and I literally because the Musky clamped their teeth in there. Doesn't matter how hard you set the hook if they actually get their teeth into wood. With a big round Bait, you're not going to move that Bait. You can set the hook till you're blue in the face, but at the end of everything. When they decide to open their mouth, it comes out. So that was my big premise and so I had to kind of eat my words with all my clients, but I told them I was never going to...

...start a lure company. was actually about a year and a half hiatus. I when I decided to do it. I got one quote for a mold and it was thirtyzero dollars and I said, well, there's no way in Heck I could possibly afford that. So I brushed it off again. Nobody else was doing it, and then I got a little more serious about it and started getting different quotes and I got a little more reasonable. Could I believe my first mold was like twelve grand and just started the business from there. And then, you know, it's going pretty good. I added a couple lures and then I literally had some retailers. So hold hold, I should make hold on so because I know what I do is totally different, but I can follow this whole process. So did you make one out of something else? Because you know, once you do the tooling, kind of the toolings, the tooling. So you had to have figured something out, you know, because this is way before d printing. Right. So how did you get to that? I sent a mold maker basically three different dates and my ideas of the first lure, and then I literally was working with them over the phone with drawings and this at the other and then, essentially, you know, we got it to the point where I I forget what the test mold was. It wasn't a final mold and it wasn't that expensive. So it was a few hundred bucks. We came to agreement with everything. Let's let's do that and run a test mold on. I was quite relieved actually that that first test mold I got it and use it and I'm like yeah, let's go. So that's that's basically how it work. But but yeah, I did not craft because it was a concave phase and, you know, I couldn't get a perfect so it was it was literally a matter of a hybrid bet idea that, you know, we just worked out together over the phone and through drawings, and then that test mold. You got to meet the right people the right time. Oh yeah, yeah, and of course, with then you go through that's that's the good thing about the plastic. You've got different chambers in there and then you know, we could mess around with waiting and we perfected some of that and, you know, actually had a couple different models of it, a more buoyantness, thinker and Blah Blah Blah. But yeah, that's a there is nothing easy about that either, you know, and that's something I still due to this day for several different companies, is help design and fine tune lures. It's just about never a process that you you know, you you build it and it's right. You know, you gotta got to keep going on in testing and trying different materials and weights and Blah Blah Blah. So it's a guy that's guiding and doing the promotions and all that stuff that goes around. I love how people always telling make so what are you doing your time off? I'm like, Oh wow, oh, what time? You know, when you're when you were a lure company now, I mean now you were twenty four seven. So did that just to get to be too much time away, because, I mean it's really hard to fish and run a lure company right. Oh, I yeah, it was. It was a very chaotic time. I mean I've you know, that next fifteen years when everything's growing, I'm getting more and more speaker engagements, more writing, more Blah Blah Blah, more TV opportunities, all the while trying to figure out how much I could keep guiding and possibly run the business. And eventually I with the lure business. That was really taking off and I did have to start hiring people. I eventually change mold makers after I met this gentleman. It's it's really very long story, but he eventually became my partner and help me run the company. Me After, I after I got to know him real well and...

...and we grew it. We grew it fast. We were the largest muskilwer company out there for the two final years before I sold the car. We sold the company. Yeah, that's just that. That's it's I can appreciate that. There's just so much going on and just seeing further. It's trade shows or dealer shows or Rufus Barkin at Cha. Yeah, that's Maven, by the way, Maven, our new standard poodle puppy who is trying to be on the podcast. I apologize for that. Can I beat her in front of you or you know, there's a couple things you don't want to do. You don't want to drink angel tears and you don't want to beat baby seals. I'm kicking. I can edit it out. They I can add it out. If he did. Producer Dude is amazing. He can do amazing things. But so the Musky, I mean, where you relieved or is that kind of like bitter sweet, because when you put that much blood, sweat and tears in a kind of putting your name behind something, and that, I mean that had to be huge for putting your name out there right like that's another level of your guide. But now you're just you're like to dude, yeah, it, yeah, it did a lot because we we did well overseas as well and we were, you know, really, really big. But the pike crowd over there, there was a there was a lot of stuff going on with that. Maven. That was just a slight beat. I apologize for that, but but anyway, yeah, it really did a lot in the decision to sell, which I regret. I honestly it's very interesting. You know, you and I've talked a little bit about how this industry has grown, but I also made a pretty bad business mistake when I really think about it. I honestly thought at the time to a certain extent, to sing is kind of peeking. We came to a crossroads with painting. We did not control our own painting. Everything else we could control. My partner, band was tremendous at quality control. You know, he personally cared. Obviously as an ornery cares even more. We really did a tremendous job, in my opinion, on putting great baits out with everything. But we did have issues with painting. We would have you know, you're growing and you're using different painters and you'd have painters that would change clear code or paint or whatever, not tell you, not test it, not. I mean you should have heard some of my phone conversations. I'm like, my God, can't you carve these lures with a knife found of the plastic and soak them in water for a while? You just put them in a damn package and send them out, because there were nothing drove me nuts more than having a bad batch of bates go out and it's it's bad for business. I mean you might replace them, but to assertain you got x amount of customers are just going to say, well, this, you know, this tackle company sucks and I'm not going to buy it again. So we we literally it was. It was a combination of the timing where we got a pretty good offer. Either one of US wanted to start up paint facility and deal with EPA and all these different things, and I very mistakenly thought that maybe the lower business had somewhat peeked and was getting kind of clogged and I was completely wrong on that one. But yeah, it was. It was tough to let a goal, to be real honest with you. I got a funny paint story for you. Just happened here a couple weeks ago. So I've got I got a couple of guys that get out a guid trip. You got a couple boats going on, and the guy in the other the other boat, comes over to me and he says hey, he said I brought this big box of lures for you, and it was kind of weird because, you know, I'd asked me, Hey, what are we going to be using all this stuff before hand and I you know, I was, you know, kind of like hey, Musky guys, I'm little gunshy. Now I'm like, where's this guy going with this? And I saw I gave a little bit up and told me,...

...hey, we know we're using this kind of finishes and things like that. And so this guy brings this. I mean when I say a box, I mean he brought boxes, okay, of lures and I'm like, what are you doing? Follows he was hey, can I bring these in your boat? I want to run some of these, and I'm liked, my boat is full of tackle and along and the short of it is I start looking at these things and I'm like, I said, Dude, you run those when you're in the other boat tomorrow. So my other mother captain guy that's running these guys. The next day they go through and they're not catching anything, and so my guy calls me in the phone. He was hey, are you still catch them? To look pretty busy on I said we're murder and we're catching them because I have a kind of single fish. So the end of that day, that guys shows me these baits and I said, hey, how much do you trust these things floating? He's like what do you mean? And you know this again, this is an aspiring lure. Whatever you want. I take one and I throw it in a lake and he's like, what are you doing? I know that they float right. The thing won't right to the bottom and just to your point. They were using such so much paint and clear over these lures that they had a bait that should have been mutually, you know, buoyant and it made it sink. And and so he's got boxes. You know, that was probably a couple thousand dollars with the lures and I just looked at him like you do realize all those are completely jats are jumper. You know, there's there's there's so many minute little details with that lure building thing and I'm sure you've you've experienced that. Like you said, some of the processes we both been involved in with lure development. It takes forever, it seems like, because the nuances is this, the minute differences between catching and not catching his huge. I mean, is that fair? Absolutely so. So you kind of regret now you regret it because of money, because you don't seem like a money guy to me, or do you regret it because you just would I had to do less of other things, I would I would say, you know, I'd be lying if I said it was money, but but it was just more of the ideal, a goal, you know, and and I didn't it made sense when we did it strictly from a business standpoint, I guess, to a certain extent. But yeah, yeah, especially after a little time went by, I was kind of like, you know, I really wish I wouldn't have done it that. He said the same thing, you know, but you know, at that point it is what it is, right and and you move on it. It was it was nice to get that off your off my shoulders directly though, you know. And so you know, you the big the big business decision. You don't even probably know this one that I made that actually was good for my career. But I decided to get in the magazine business. Oh, right about the time the Internet hit. This does it that? This does not sound good. Yeah, so you want to talk about financial wounds. Yeah, that was a significant one. But I started a international magazine called Esox, Angler was pike and Musky, and we literally had writers from all over the world and we still did this day get get people talking about it and accolades on the great publication we had and the whole premise behind it was too really hammer on truth handling, conservation and and basically try and make a difference on the North American continent. As far as the Pike. It was kind of that's why, part of the reason I mixed the Europeans in, because over there pike is what they have. Now they they do have bigger pike genetically than girl over here. But on that continent, yeah, they're they get to be fifty pounds over there, but they didn't have any monskies. So they idolized the pike. They're with some exceptions. On the North American content continent,...

...you know, Pike are not idolized. They're they're like a trash fish to quite a few people. And he were trying to make ride that gap and and do a lot of different things. But the Tim you know, that was just real poor. And and actually we talked about the lenders earlier. They were so nice. Obviously they had a lot of experience. They had they had sold the in fish deal and and they, Gosh, I had three or four different meetings with them, but they did they did warn that. They tried to help me as much as possible, but they you know, they they explain the new stand part of it and all these different things and they you know, they said you're going to go through a lot of money and a lot of effort to get somewhere with it and it was a combination of a lot of things. But yeah, we we literally closed it down because of finances. I do remember that magazine and I did not know that was yours. How long did you guys actually do that? Oh, Gosh, too long, twelve years, I believe. Oh No, kid, that's that's a long time. We made a we made a good run and and and it was a great magazine and arguably one of the greatest pack of writers of assembled, I think. I mean we had we had the amazing group of people from overseas. We had some guys from Russia, whole bunch from the UK and in Germany. And Yeah, it was a it was a eating next alum. So it was. It was a good idea and a good product, but it would just, you know, if we could have transitioned it real smartly, if somebody on the team would have been super internet savvy, and you know, I think we could have rolled it over into an internet thing and kept it going. But the whole paper thing, I think, was, you know, just real tough about especially with the timing, when you're dumping a whole bunch of money into it, when it's getting totally antiquated and everything was going on the Internet right. Well, if it makes you feeling better, there's a lot of companies that did not do a good transition. I mean, like I think about like sports illustrated or you could even argue like feeling streaming outdoor life right now are kind of suffering that same blow. Yeah, it's almost like the companies had to reinvent themselves to the go straight to digital. But so you brought up something there that I think is a good one, because I watch a lot of your craziness and you know which I stually like is me and you were both crazy guys, but I think most people would say that you know, we're both we kind of wear it on our sleep, like you don't have to wonder what either one of us are thinking. Right. And you know you do a lot with the release and the Musky care and stuff like that, and it's just funny because from my own deal I'll actually get people given me Shit because I'm doing release videos on Walleyes and I don't know where we went, you know, in my world, and I'm transition that transition this to you quickly, but it's like, you know, large mouth, if you keep one, you're going to die in the same thing like most Musky guys. If someone keeps a muskies there, they're going to be shot, they're going to slash their tires. And my world, I'm getting Shit because I'm doing a release video in a wallet like I don't know, because they taste good. I don't know how this does a one hundred and eighty. I have no idea. But it's funny too, because you know you. I will put words in your mouth, but I've seen a lot of your videos where you're like, Hey, man, don't fish for these things when the waters this warm because you're going to kill them, even though you let him go. Don't mean Shit. And I see the same thing in my boat. People don't come. They drop a fish ten times and they throw it over the side like Oh, look at that nice release, and it's like you just that fish is just you just delayed the murder of it. Basically, you know, and so I mean, has that fish care or things like that, and you gotten a lot of negative feedback because of that. Well, here again, it all depends on the location, I guess,...

...to a certain extent, and and the people you're dealing with but you know, like Europe, I got I got basically famous over there with the pikers, especially when we had that magazine going and I was getting into a lot of that stuff. Ross it was. It was unbelievable. The accolades. I don't know how many different languages my writings were translated into about Karen handling a fish over there and you know, over here. I would say it to a certain extent depended on the crowd, but anytime I've always been real vocal on it and and I try and tell people what I'm talking about it. But all of the stuff that I talked about, it's not like it's not like I'm perfect. I did all the bad things. I used to use gut hooks with live bait. Will Heck, the first four years I musky guided. We killed them all most days. They you know, this is thirty two in size limit and and that was just what everybody did. Right. I guess that was the first you know hill I tried to climb. was, you know, getting on the release thing, not that I was standing alone in that, but you know, pushing that, pushing higher size limits. Then there was, you know, the live bait thing was real popular in Wisconsin and everybody use guth hooks, no quick strike rigs, and then I, you know, I really started attacking that and you you run into a little bit of Egal a little bit, you know, people just not wanting to change their way, as a little bit of people not wanting to experiment with something new. But you know, at the end of the day, I would always try and remind people that, you know, and I frankly, I think there's really not nearly enough people who are making a living at this weather, it be companies, guides, pros, whatever you want to call any of us, not really appreciating because at the end of the day, we never like to talk about it all that much, it seems like people that make a living in the industry. But you know, we want to talk about the latest craft for the hot lure or the line or whatever. But at the end of the day, what are we all really looking for? Ross we're looking for healthy fishers. Doesn't matter if you're chasing wal eyes or what a what? What lakes do you choose or rivers do you choose? To go on? You know, if you're targeting Walleye, you know you just happened to be probably on the best walleye fishery ever on this continent. But you know, obviously that's what you're looking for, right and you know if you're you're essentially cutting your own throat. My One K. I don't know. The walleye guys are not up to speed with that, man. I don't know. They just like in. The funny thing is is like we get guys from your neck of the woods, you know, they come over here and they will release every single fish they catch in Wisconsin, but they come here and they want to see how many thirty injures they can eat beyond. I don't get it now. Yeah, you know, it's just like people to win the lot look at like the lottery. Know, they say like seventy percent of people that win the lottery go broke. You know what I mean? Just because you got a lot of something don't mean it. They going to go by by. But I'll get off that soapbox. For a producer, dude strangles me because we've talked about this before quite a bit, but I think I would be not doing either one of this justice. No, I'm not going to blindside you here. But the funny thing is is when you've been in the business as long as you have, and I've been on twenty plus years, is you get buddies that know each other. Like so I have some friends that are friends with you and they you know when they're like, Hey, you're going on a big water podcast, like you should probably ask Pete if he's ever run out of gas before, and I'm like, and I know what what I mean, like and he's like just ask him, has he ever run out of gas before? Apparently there's a story there. Do you want to share? My Gosh, I don't. I don't know which one is. It's for a lot of gas multiple times. Says that what I'm hearing. No, actually not as much as some other people I know that have been doing it a long time. I believe. I only have two pretty distinct ones,...

...but the most recent one I basically didn't believe it and didn't want to admit it. Now, the only thing I had backing me up at all on this whole deal is that technically my gas gate was not working at the time. But I should have known better, let's just put it that way. And there was much chatter in the bold as to what was causing the problems with the outboard and was basically saying that it couldn't possibly be that we were out of fuel and we were so produce, producer dude, or but producer dude, me and you have never run out of guest together, knock on wood. But so I could see where there might be some discrepancies are but they also said that they I should ask you if you've ever had a stalker. Now, now, I mean you know, see the look on your face now there's no discrepancies. Now we did. I've got the same page on this one. You know, this is what happens when you have dirty friends like we have. Yeah, yeah, that's that's just like that. I may have had something that qualifiers that. That's something I'm going to get into. I mean anything to do with fishing lures or ladies or stokers or anything. I don't know it. You know your it's your buddy, not mine. It's no, I mean your buddy back. It's great to have friends, isn't it? Yeah, they're terrible, but I'm here's a story about you. What I'll tell you a little bit that I used to sell boats when I first started in the business and that was kind of my thing. That helped me get you know, hang on long enough, you know what I mean. One of those deals. And I used to do some stuff because, again, mutual friends with a guy over and Sturgis, Michigan, by the name of Marksona, and he was a boat salesman too. Yeah, thanks. kind of know that guy. It's a small world, Huh. I know you fished with them, I bitch. You know, I've been told that guys like me and you are have big personalities. That's the word they use when they don't want to say something else. It's going to say that. That's the nice way of putting it. Yeah, tell you what you want to comment in further on that or now? I think you covered it. It's the nice way of saying of noxious. No, I don't think we're anxious. I just think we're I mean, I mean maybe if I wore a man Kini in the pink head right around outside and the thrown dynamite of the snow man, maybe that's obnoxious. I don't know, but I like it right. So, you and Zona in the boat. I haven't seen this footage, but that has to be that's a whole lot of personality right there. Oh yeah, by the way. I just caught up with Zona for the first time in a while. Had A chat with them today and it was good to catch up with the do but Tuh. Yeah, when we did not really know each other at all, it was a mutual friend who had well, he was he was filming Zona's new show, world's greatest fishing show. Zone has always been kind of, you know, low key. I thought any guy that names is show the world's greatest fishing show, I got to meet right so I yeah, I jumped on it. My Buddy Greg under all told me a little bit about Mrs own on and I'm like yeah, let's do it. And at the time the Bay of Green Bay was really really starting to go as a muskie fishery and we talked a little bit and, you know, set some dates and yeah, the rest is the rest is kind of history. We became buddies after that. But it was kind of interesting because I was we were using my boat and had everything rigged up and ready, same company. So...

...everything was cool with all of that and I didn't realize Zona was there in the parking lot of the hotel and I've got I'm just preping stuff with the boat. We were going to go out roll and muskies on the bay, Green Bay, and I got my truck doors wide open and I'm working and I got well, I got music going and all of a sudden I hear this voice Crocus, I procus. Oh, look at that hair. We're got to get along. He started in and I was just like Whoa, now this guy. I like him, and he just yeah, we really hit it off. We had up, we had a great day out there was it was kind of interesting because about at twenty minutes into it we hadn't caught a fish yet, but I'm running pile lines. I don't I don't think zone had ever seen anybody running that many Musky baits around troll that will. Maybe hadn't seen Musky bits at all, I guess, at the time. But he started joking around on the show, calling me man genius as I was running out all these lines and all of stuff gone and he just kept on it and I had music going in the boat, actually the guy talked about with the pink cat earlier. I had some Brian Sham fishing music going and we were trolling around and we ended up catching a pile of fish. I mean the the bite was good. The fish were still fairly stupid, to be perfectly honest, and we were on them. A buddy of mine I'd clued me in at what was going on. Actually, I had not actually gone there and done it in that are. He just said if you had, you know, if you know what you're doing, trolling, you do this and you know, we just we just went there and really really got it done. So on I got like a at least a forty pound fish, but we got, you know, we got seven or eight, which for Muskies is unbelievable, and I think we only actually fished about eight hours. And but it was, you know, it was just a trip being with zone on all the man genius thing. And what really impressed me with the music. I've allowed music going, of course, and all of a sudden Zona goes into a produce, a producer due. Are you hearing this? If we had loud music going, wouldn't wouldn't production? What they you go nuts with the music plan if you're loud enough, yeah, it we would. They would be kind and a hard to produce video. Yeah, I'm just saying that because I would like to play some gangs to wrap while dome. I just want to point out what did it? What did I tell you and I didn't know Pete it on what I say. He looks like he likes hair metal, and then he just popped out crocus. I mean, yeah, it was the moment that gave it away. You know, you, you and zoned together. I mean, I just like, I'm still just kind of like thinking about the insanity. I not have to try to dig this clip up. Oh God, yeah, he's way he started, he started doing the drums and his head is going all over the place and it's unbelieving. Then all of a sudden he grabs a bottle of water basically dumps it all in his mouth to make it look like he's spitting fire, and he spits it all. That's when I realize this is one right here. I did just see producer Dudey all, that's my microphone get the water. Oh God, so is it? Is there any other personalities, because I know you fished with a lot of famous people. I've seen like just recently on your instagram or whatever. He had which me and you haven't talked about. But Christian Lating, her the old basketball guy. I can remember Lonnie Stanley, the old bass professor or whatever his title was, Back Down the Jig guy like who's who sticks out as a guy that you know, you enjoyed sharing the boat with. We're just insanity, you know, because, like as a guide man, I'd have literally hundreds...

...of stories of just rather it's famous people or people that nobody knows and just insanity happening or something funny as hell. Yeah, well, you, I mean as far as funny as hell, exciting, crazy flubs to a certain extent. I mean, I don't know how you could possibly beat Zona, but a close second is John Gillespie, who I've been filming with the years. He's he's a handful. He is an unbelievable trip, a goal in my life. I still they're both so busy, but I absolutely have to get zone on Glossbie together somehow. There would be no way to speak during that show. They would not be able to get a word in edgeways. No, no, no, I just put a bag over my head with a couple eyeball holes and yeah, just watch, because there's no sense and even trying to get a word in edgeways. That may be trying to outdo one another. It'll be great. I could just imagine it. But yeah, I mean for that kind of thing you couldn't possibly beat those guys are both just unbelievably unique. And then now latener. He's kind of interesting that in that you know, the basketball career thing. arguablieves the best college player ever, you know, and his duke deal was just unbelievable. But obviously Olympic gold medals and and thirteen years in the pros. And but he with all of that on basketball, he does not. You can't get them to talk about basketball. He's how interested in talking about anything about his career, anything about basketball. You've got a pry at autumn when when I got gospie filming with them as well, I mean he was he was right away trying to get him to talk about his career. He didn't want to talk about any of that. He wants to talk muskies and he's he's just like he's not a crazy type personality like zone or Glesspie, but the neatest thing. And it's kind of weird when you got a seven foot tall guy who's like that. The the passion of this guy with fishing is really pretty amazing. He's like a huge little kid when every time he gets the fish and while he's doing it you just see the sheer joy of doing it the whole time and the excitement and the smiles every time he gets one. And he's definitely not a selfish angler at all either. He's had his stretches fishing with me where he's been the one catching them, but he's had stretches where he hasn't been unfortunate. There's some people I get a little grumpy if there's two three fish go on the bollet and they're not the one involved with it. Producer didn't know say anything. Yeah, he's happy for everyone and just enjoying his time out there. So he got addicted, by the way, the muskies when he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves of strength and conditioning coach there when he first joined the team was a Musky Angler who had a place on the lake of the woods and this guy, soul Brandi's took curshing up after asking him a couple times. You want to come try it, and you know it was just like me telling my story and obviously you people like us that are addicted genetically. He just got up there. He tried it once. Didn't even catch one first time, but you know, the rest was history. He just he just loved the Canadian Shield, he loved lake of the woods, he loved just seeing those muskies and been doing it ever since and that's all he does now. He's he still does basketball camps for kids, but he'll as much as possible. He tries to plan all of his basketball camps in areas that have muskies. So he's fishing pride and laughter all of his camps that he organizes. That's interesting. I don't know about you. So, Pete, real quick, you know what you know. You mentioned he fell in love with muskies. You fell in love with muskies. Why? Will? Why muskies? I mean it to be and be to me.

It's the most boring fishing ever. You know. I mean, I just I open. We just always saw one. Today, guys, that's a win, really. Yeah, I mean it will win. That's what's cool about muskies. Right there there's one answer. What other species can you fish for where you still have something to talk about and be proud about? If you had followed she can be absolutely skunk, but muskie fishermen get to go home, go to the bar wherever. I'd be back to the resort and they can count follows and talk about follows. Mrs Nobody else can do that out a producer, dude, I know you'd be ripping me really, I already have it. Yeah, talking about Mrs. Yeah, I mean Ross talks about Ms is a lot. Yeah, I mean so, producer do I mean, don't you think like a guy with as much personality? Mean, the guy wears a man kinning a pink hat, like. I feel like he has some stories whole. He's holding out on us a little bit, you know what I mean? You's got a long flowing locks from it, you know what I mean? Or sure there's got to be something in there that he's just kind of like. I mean he's you know, he doesn't want to talk about the stalkers and running out of gas. I understand that. I understand that, but they're running out of gas. stalkers are just not it all out of interesting. There's whole shows on that. I would I would argue that. I mean, I could see why you wouldn't want to talk about that, but I think me and like producer dude and like, I don't know, every single person listens as podcast, would be like, oh my gosh, but I mean in all seriousness, they'll mean. I you you have street cred for, obviously not just catching fish. But you know, I actually know a few things because, again, you've been in the business long enough and I know you turned down a deal that was paying some good money, and so it's things like that where I respect you more than anything. It's not how many muskies you've caught. You know, like I turned down a deal a few years ago that was like, I don't care what you're doing, you're like, man, this is a really good business decision as far as financially and you know, looking back now, they just didn't have good stuff, to be point blank, and that's why they were offered the numbers. You know what I mean? Now the company is basically no longer around anymore. So you go think I made the right decision, even though there's a lot of guys out there, not just new guys, not just young guys, a lot of older guys, even though was said, Hey, I would have cashed that check for x, you know one, two, three years or whatever, and put that in. But you're not that type of dude. And I mean you've, I know you've run across one of those, and I don't want you to say the name or anything like that, but I mean some of that stuff that you've had. If you want to talk about just how the difference with credibility in the industry nowadays, yeah, well, let's it's just really important to me and obviously you as well. I mean, at the end of the day, I I have a pretty simple rule. I've got a great relationship with my bad text. He's the one that bought the resort and basically, you know, got me into fishing in many ways. And always tell myself if I'm representing a product that I would not tell text to go buy with his own money, then I shouldn't be representing that product and just ethically, you know, there's a lot of different things that I've experienced and I tried to play it straight. I'm never you know, I'm sure that in some cases that's happened, but I don't, you know, I don't ever want to hear from anybody out there that made a purchase because is a something Pete Mayna said and they're just off. You know, they had a bad experience and that's that very simply. That's just the way I look at it. You know, if I wouldn't walk by it, if I wouldn't tell my dad to buy it, if I wouldn't tell my best friend to buy it, why would I stand there and give a little speech saying this is a great product, then you ought to go buy it it? Just something I've really tried to avoid. Now, you know, there's middle ground and a lot of these things. I don't think there's any company that's absolutely perfect,...

...but obviously there's an attitude behind companies that they want to they want to do the right thing. If they do have problems, they want to immediately fix those problems and they want to take care of any consumer that got a bummer deal, you know, out of their mistake, whatever it might be, and it just it just doesn't pay, I don't think in the long run actually from a financial standpoint. Certainly to the with with having overall credibility over, especially when you're doing this for decades. The people that do follow you, you know you I want their respect. You know I want them to know that you know if I say something good about a particular product, they're going to be able to say, all right, well, I'm going to go buy it and try it you know, if Pete uses it, he's probably not lying to me a hundred percent. That's that's why I respect you more because I don't want to about Muskies at all. Be Honest with him, but I think we need to we need to end this with something because, as producer would say, we are two big personalities, maybe not zone a big but big personalities. Could you leave this with like a Pete Mania, like thought of the day? or I mean, I always ask guys this and they always kind of stumble and we probably have to edit half of it out, producing hy with hard stuff. Holy it's easy stuff. I mean for a guy that wears a pink hat and a man Kini like he's gonna. Are You going to stumble? Oh, I don't know. I don't think I'm a stumble and fall down. I'm fine. You don't have any wise words to leave this with, like when maybe a tip from Pete? A tip from Pete, would be too all of you, for whatever species you fish for, is paid more attention to what's making your bobber sink or your Rod Bounds, whatever you want to put it. I I really, I really am still strong with all species and frankly, especially whallizes, because I I see that is the single most harvested fish around here as well. But either way, you know, remember what the actual enjoyment is about and get serious about conservation and actually, you know, learning, learning how to handle and properly release and not bounce fish around. There's met you know, we could do a ten minutes ceminar on all this and go through tools and a bunch of things. But prioritize that in your own mind. I mean people. People seem to be way more worried about the the latest bestos graph, Moors, the you know, the real sexy stuff that's going to catch you more fish fast. At the end of the day, healthy fisheries are going to catch you more fish. And if you care at all about your neighbor and you got kids or whatever it might be, grandkids, whatever the case may be, if you want them to be able to do it and enjoy it, that's you know, that's something you really want to concentrate on. If you do harvest, eating fishes in a dirty word, but use common sense when you're harvesting. You know, I always suggest to people that, you know, you take the fish species in the fishery. That's the healthy, healthiest, obviously population wise, but also, you know this the size structure that is most prevalent. You know, try to let the big, you know, big healthy females go. I just in general, let's say, I always tell people now if I got a northern pipe fishery and I'm going to harvest a few, let's say, three pound pike, but if I happen to catch a twenty six inch pipe that is exceptionally fat and built like a railroad tie, that's a fast growing, very efficient fish. It's probably going to get real biggest kind you want to breed, even though it's in the slot of fish for that species you would normally keep teat.

You want to let that one go. Just use basic common sense. Be like a farmer. You want to grow good animals and you want to and sense that Conna. Yeah, we get calls into this. I can talk just about anything really. They want to talk beef, corn, whatever it might be. Politics. By the way, I do have a let's go brandon shirt. Want me to put that on? What we're good at? We're we're all good on that one. But I like I like Mr Personality, Pete, and I can't thank you enough forgiven us your time and you know, maybe one of these trips you come down to do some muskie fishing on St Clair, we can sneaky over and do little Walleye fishing on Ereie with me. Yeah, you know, that would be fun. That's offer you differ place. Yeah, it offers been placed. I can't thank you enough for giving us your time and we're going to we're definitely going to put a couple of clips in there. People that they need to see these things. You know I mean for old man Winter Sake, of course. Right, exactly, Pete, thanks for giving us your time. Thanks everybody for tune in to the big water podcast. As producer dude will remind us, check us out at big water fishingcom, on Instagram, facebook and Youtube big water fishing, and also the podcast is on. What do we got? spotify, Google, Apple. And what's the last one? Producer due ditcher and Pecher. Dick. Pete's got something he wants to share tell you. Oh No, I just wanted to say good hut, like this is the screen. You guys. I had fun.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (44)