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Angler Profile

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By: Tim Domaille

 

When you think about an all around great guy and successful angler, one name comes to mind, Rapala Pro Mark Fisher.

Mark started fishing the natural Minnesotan way, going on vacation with his family. Mark recalls the “Classic Family Vacation”, going to the Alexandria area of Minnesota . Dad, Mom and the kids all packed up and headed for a relaxing fishing adventure to Lake Ida . Mark remembers his Dad always wanting to go for the toothy critters, the Northern Pike and Walleye. Marks Mom was the person who started him bass fishing by taking him to the lily pads throwing Hula Poppers and Chugger’s.

As Mark grew up and pursued his interest in bass fishing, I asked him who he looked up to as heroes. Mark stated that Al and Ron Lindner were big influences.  He also enjoyed reading Ron Schara’s articles.

Mark and I talked about how he got into tournament fishing. Mark said he always played sports in school and loved the competition. In 1987, Mark again fired up his competitive spirit by entering his first bass tournament series. He chose to begin with the Midwest Open Bass Classic Circuit managed by John Hesse. Mark’s partner for the tournament circuit was Scott Hanson.  Mark enjoyed the series and finished the circuit by snagging the “Angler of the Year” honor for 1987. As we all know this is quite an accomplishment for a first year angler.

Following up the great 1987 season was Mark winning the Don Shelby US Invitational in 1994. This was an invitational only tournament held on Lake Minnetonka . Mark had a 3 day winning weight of just under 47 pounds for 15 fish. There were 135 anglers in this tournament.

In 1999, Mark fished the Silverado Tournament Trail in Minnesota . At the conclusion of the season, Mark won the prestigious title of Angler of the Year! What a great accomplishment. Upon winning the Angler of the Year title in 1999, Mark qualified for the exclusive Ranger Boats Millennium Tournament in 2000. Only 200 anglers are allowed to participate in this event. The winner of the Ranger Boats Millennium Tournament would take home $1 million in cash!

The Ranger Boats Millennium Tournament was held in Cypress Gardens , Winter Haven Chain of Lakes, Winter Haven , FL. Mark did not fair well in the tournament but had a great time. The Chain of Lakes seemed to fish very small for the number of boats and he felt like there was a lack of fish in the system.

Mark is currently employed with Rapala.  I asked him how he got started in the fishing industry. Mark said he started with a radio show in 1993. The show aired on KSTP AM 1500. It was a two hour fishing show with Larry Bollig. Mark then worked for a company called Shirts Plus. From there he went to Rapala where he attributes his success to keeping a balance, networking, and promoting companies within the industry.

Mark is a very diverse fisherman. His favorite technique is deep water cranking. I had talked with Mark after he had gotten back from fishing Lake Okeechobee with David Fritz. David as we all know is one of the best crank bait fishermen in the world. Mark was talking about the changes they had to make from day to day. The fish were in the general area, but they had to adapt to catch the fish. Mark said he had to change the angle and retrieve speed to get the fish to bite.

I asked Mark about on the water decisions he makes when fishing gets tough during tournaments. Mark stated that if he had fish going during pre-fishing and went to the same spot during the tournament but could not get them to bite, he would not leave and go somewhere else. He knew the fish were there, he just needed to figure out how to make them bite. Mark says over the years he has learned to slow down and change the presentation and speed. The fish are usually there and it just takes a little time to figure them out.

Marks favorite tournament is the Fort Francis Canadian Bass Championship. The fish for the most part are all smallmouth. Rainy Lake is a very big body of water between the United States and Canada . The smallmouth are always moving. Mark states it is very taxing and challenging on your skills to figure them out. Coming in a close second to Mark’s tournaments favorites is the Dick Hiley/ St Jude Children’s Research Hospital spring tournament on the Mississippi River out of Wabasha MN .

The biggest reward for Mark in tournament fishing is the camaraderie of the anglers and making new friends.  Feeling good about the event he is supporting, besides cashing a check, is a very close second. Also keeping the sport alive through the youth and helping maintain our resources is also important.

Mark is definitely a first class individual and angler. If you get the privilege to meet and talk with Mark, don’t hesitate to go up and introduce yourself. Mark is always willing to take the time to talk with you and share his knowledge and experience.