Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

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Quite a party: Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame inducts Outdoor News

It was another raucous Saturday at the Northwest Sportshow in Minneapolis on March 28, thanks in part to the induction of a group of incredible fishing legends into the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame.

That organization inducted Outdoor News founder Jim Peterson into its inaugural class 15 years ago, but this time the operation honored the business and its entire staff. I was honored and humbled to represent the company at an induction ceremony midday Saturday. Nine of my fellow employees then joined us for a social and “Night with the Legends” party Saturday night that ended well after the Northwest Sportshow closed for the day.

The hall honored seven individuals and four businesses on Saturday representing two year-classes of honorees. The hall did not hold a formal ceremony for the class of 2012, so we were part of the 2015 celebration. In addition to our newspaper publishing company, three manufacturers also will be permanently enshrined in the hall: Minnetonka-based RapalaNorthland Tackle of Bemidji, and Bloomington-based Vexilar.

Tim Lesmeister has a complete story and photos about the event and inductees in this week’s print edition of Outdoor News, but here’s a quick summary:

Representing the 2012 class were Jeff Arnold, Dave Csanda, Dan Sura, James Lindner, Outdoor News, and Rapala. The 2015 class of inductees included Leroy Ras, Tom Neustrom, Duane Peterson, Vexilar and Northland Fishing Tackle. Arnold, the owner of Reed’s Sporting Goods in Walker, deserves some special recognition because he’s the man behind the vision for the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame.

The Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame 2015 inductees: (l-r) Steve Baumann representing Vexilar, LeRoy Ras, Eric Naig of Northland Tackle, Duane Peterson of Northland Tackle, and Tom Neustrom.

Previous inductees, including Gary RoachJoe Fellegy, and Ron Schara, were on hand for the day’s festivities, and – truth be told – the whole event was a veritable who’s who of Minnesota fishing. There were great silent auction and live auction items to raise money for the Hall’s long-range plans.

Since 2012, the Hall has been in the process of merging with the  Minnesota Fishing Museum, and the new combined effort has a strong vision for a grand new facility. At the Saturday night banquet, organizers unveiled plans for the new building, and it looks impressive. Currently located in Brainerd, the Hall will move to the 9-acre site near Little Falls once it’s completed. The fishing museum will also be housed in that same building. 

Congratulations to all the newest members of the Hall. Outdoor News is honored to be among these incredible fishing legends, and the plaque we received will adorn a wall in our office for generations.

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