A Conversation with Walleye Dan
Fishing and golf go together in Minnesota. Granted, not all golfers fish and not all fishermen (and women) golf. Yet, for those that do both, there are few better places in this country to enjoy these outdoor activities. If you’re a Minnesotan and consider yourself an angler, you are well aware of one of the best and well known fishing guides in the state, Dan Eigen. More commonly known as Walleye Dan. We recently communicated with the native Minnesotan via email and asked him to share with us some of his thoughts about golf and fishing in Minnesota. Here are some of the highlights from our Q&A with Minnesota’s best known fishing expert:
Why are golf and fishing such Minnesota staples?
Fishing and golf are such huge parts of life here in Minnesota, but unfortunately only one of them we can do all year long, that’s why I chose fishing as my profession. Minnesota winters can be brutal, thus making fishing and golf such high priorities once the weather starts to warm in the spring. After being cooped up all winter (for those non-icefishers) it sure is nice to crack out the clubs and or the long rods and hit the links or the lakes in hopes of the big fish or eagle!
What are your suggestions for fitting in golf and fishing in one day?
Fishing can be good all day long, but typically during the low-light periods the fish (especially walleye) tend to really put on the feed bag! If I wanted to have the perfect day on the water and on the links, I would start on the water at sunrise and fish until about 9:00 a.m. A quick breakfast and on the box at 10:00 a.m. would be ideal! 18-holes of golf, a short nap and I could be back in the boat in search of some hungry fish by the evening hour. Repeat! With so many courses and so many lakes here in Brainerd, a person could do this for a few weeks without hitting the same lake or course.
What type of fish can people expect to catch in the Brainerd Lakes Area?
Here in the Brainerd Lakes Area a person who likes to fish is right at home. Walleye seems to be the most sought after fish because of the elusiveness and because of their table fare. If the walleye “bite” is not on, the area is home to most every other freshwater fish species. Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Pike, pan fish, Perch and Muskie all call the lakes area home. The lakes are abundant, but a person really should not overlook the awesome stretches of river around here too.
What do golf and fishing have in common?
Fishing and golf have a lot in common. They both allow a person to enjoy the beauty of the gorgeous landscape. They also give you the sense of peace (unless you are a tournament player or fishing guide, where the pressure is always on!). You hit that awesome shot, you set the hook on that big fish..it’s the rush that we all look for. With both fishing and golf, you won’t get better unless you put in your time. If I am not on the water for a few day’s I feel lost once I get back out there in search of the fish. Same program with golf, if you don’t play a lot you aren’t going to lower your score. Both sports can be frustrating but both can be so rewarding and exhilarating. I love fishing and I also love to play golf. I make my living on the water, but because of that, I do put a few balls in the water once I find my way to the course!
How would you describe yourself as a golfer?
I have played a fair amount of golf rounds in my life and still really enjoy the sport. These day’s if I get out 3 or 4 times a year, I’m lucky. The funny thing with me is sometimes it’s that first round of the year where I really hit the ball well. I never really seem to score well because my short game is short on fundamentals. I think a good lesson or two and I might be able to drop a few numbers off the card. But for now, I will keep sending the red tail chub down to the depths and let it quiver in front of a, hopefully, hungry walleye!