Mike Van Iperen
Mike has always enjoyed fishing from a very young age. His parents and grandparents would take him to Okoboji fishing or to local sandpits. After he turned 16 and could drive he began fishing during most of his spare time dragging his girlfriend with him. Mike and his then girlfriend Courtnie are now married with 2 children, Damien and Caiden. Mike and his family now live on a farm near Granville Iowa.
Mike purchased his first “walleye” boat in 2012 and fished Lewis and Clark lake in Yankton S.D. nearly every weekend of the summer. In 2013 he started fishing a couple tournaments each year and by 2016 he started fishing the South Dakota Elite Walleye Series, finishing the season in the top 10 qualifying him for the Cabelas NTC. 2017 did not slow down any as Mike joined the NPAA (National Professional Anglers Association) and during the winter months is helping promote the sport at Outdoor Expos across the country.
Mike Woerth / James Paul
Mike (right) and James (left) have been fishing together for going on 4 years in the Nebraska tournament trails but have made quite a splash. They won team of the year in the Nebraska Walleye Association for 2015. In 2016 they were again in the top 5 in the NWA and won the Shut Up and Fish tournament at Lake McConnaughy.
Living my whole life in Wyoming, fishing has been a major part of my entire life. From tying flies commercially, thru my college years to now building high end custom walleye fishing rods, my mind has always gravitated to fishing. Walleye fishing has been a passion now, for the past 20+ years and fishing the Wyoming tournament trail has proven to be a huge contributing factor to continuing to grow as an angler. 2017 was a great year, coming away with a win at the Boysen Wyoming Walleye Stampede tournament and a 7th place finish at the WWS Championship. The tactics required to compete at the tournament level, are continually changing and the guys at Walleye Nation Creations are keeping pace and forging ahead!
Brian was born and raised in Green Bay. Fishing has been a passion of his since he received his first set of tip ups from his grandma for Christmas as a small child. Growing up he would spend his summers along side his father fishing Kelly lake and the bay of Green Bay. When his father passed away, Brian knew that one day he would fulfill his dreams of making fishing his career.
Now in his 30's his dream career has come true. Brian is the proud Captain/owner of Fetzers Outdoors promotions and guide. He spends most of his time out on the open waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan perfecting his skills and techniques. Brian's drive for success and his fishing knowledge make him a excellent guide in the Green Bay Area and surrounding waters. To see more on Brian Fetzer visit his website at~
When Ranger Pro Dr. Dustin Kruse isn’t working at his dental practice in Clay Center, KS, you will most likely find him pursuing walleye across the country. The 2016 fishing season was a busy one, with tournament stops at Lake Erie, Winnebago, Oahe, Sturgeon Bay, Cass, and Milford, along with a handful of other local tournaments. The 2017 schedule is looking to be equally as exciting on the National Walleye Tour, Master’s Walleye Circuit, Kansas Walleye Association, and 2017 NTC at Lake Erie. While vertical jigging is his preferred method for pursuing walleye, trolling crankbaits and spinners on the big open water has become a close second. To follow Dr. Kruse’s tournament updates on Facebook, search “Walleye DDS – Dr. Dustin Kruse” and like his page.
Duane was born in Woonsocket, SD and grew up chasing walleyes on the James and Missouri River. From the first time his parents took him fishing a snoopy rod, he was hooked. In the summers as child he would spend most of his time fishing at the local lake chasing whatever would bite. As time went on and his career brought him to Pierre,SD. Duane’s passion for fishing soon grew even stronger. He started guiding for West Prairie Resort about 5 years ago as well as competitive tournament fishing. Before he knew it he was living on the water fishing out of the boat sometimes 12 months a year. What he enjoys most about guiding is teaching all ages of people what he knows and the friends you make on the way. He loves the competitiveness that the tournament scene brings. He will fish tournaments with multiple partners including his parents once in a while. Duane feels very lucky and blessed to have so many people help him get to where he is at today. He’s made some lifelong relationships with some pretty amazing people along the way and hope to continue to do so for as long as he can.
Derek grew up fishing for trout and bass on the east coast of Canada and has always loved a day out on the water. He’s been obsessed with fishing since the first time his father took him out as a kid. 15 years ago his career brought him west where he started fishing for pike and walleye in northern Alberta, Canada. Derek quickly became fixated on the challenge and thrill of finding and catching big walleye. 5 years ago he entered his first walleye tournament and although he ended up close to the bottom of the pack, that’s all it took, he was hooked! Derek now competes in the Western Canadian Walleye Trial and spends every spare minute obsessing about finding and catching big walleye. He is constantly in search of the best lures to use to catch those big girls and thinks he’s found what he’s been looking for in Walleye Nation Creations products.
I have been fishing since I was a little guy. I owe it all to my grandfather who instilled in me a great love for fishing and the outdoors. I guided on the Canadian side of lake Erie for 10 years and gained a lot of knowledge from fellow charter captains. Now the tournament bug has hit and it takes up most of my time. This year I will be fishing the NWT and MWC national tournaments. Along with MWT in Michigan and the LEWT in Ohio. The new products from Walleye Nation Creations are going to get a serious workout on Lake Erie this season.
I have been fishing since I could walk. I grew up chasing anything that would bite but once a year my Dad would take me to Lake Gogebic in the UP of Michigan for a week of Walleye fishing. These trips instilled a deep passion for chasing eyes. As I grew older and gained responsibilities I knew it was time for a 2nd job, nothing better than a large hunting/fishing store right?? I found myself surrounded by tournament bass fisherman and quickly fell into an obsession. After nearly a decade of pursuing tournament dreams I found myself burned out and craving the challenge that only walleye fishing could bring. I have since replaced the bass boat with a deep v and I have gone back to my true passion of chasing eyes. I will be spending this season honing my skills from small local lakes to Lake Erie, and who knows maybe that tournament bug will bite again!
The younger version of me grew up fishing largemouth bass with my father in Iowa. At around the age of 13, I moved to an area where the local fisheries were based around walleye. It was at that point I became a walleye fanatic. Not only could I pitch to jigs. But, use a plethora of techniques to catch these fish. Walleye presented a welcomed challenge to a young fisherman. Having solely focused on walleye since that point in my life, I developed a need to test myself against other fisherman. That is when my other obsession started. Tournament fishing. I try to get into as many tournaments as possible throughout the year to test my abilities. I am very lucky to have a supportive family that allows to me do this for 5 months out of the year. As well as companies like Walleye Nation Creations that fuel my endeavors.
Kyle Vine / Colby Tognetti
Kyle Vine & Colby Tognetti both grew up chasing walleyes across Eastern Montana, particularly on Fort Peck Lake. Being fortunate enough to grow up close to this amazing fishery put a fire in both of them for fishing which ignited fishing careers. Over the last few years the competitive tournament bug has driven them to fish all the Fort Peck Walleye Series events along with the Montana Walleye Circuit and numerous North Dakota walleye tournaments. Jig fishing has always been my favorite method for the duo when it comes to fooling walleyes but slow rigging and trolling have become a large player year after year. Something about that walleye thump keeps them coming back for more! Vine & Tognetti have been fishing competitively together over the past 6 years yielding a tourney win at the 2017 Canyon Ferry Walleye Festival, a 2nd place finish at the 2014 Montana Governor’s cup on Fort Peck Lake and 2nd Place Team of the Year in 2013 for the Fort Peck Series along numerous other tournament placings.
Born and raised in Minot, North Dakota. I have been thinking n the water since I was just a baby. My parents always had me on the boat, and that is were my passion started. Grew up fishing on Lake Sakakawea, which is a phenomenal fishery. I strive to help and provide information to help other anglers. I have always been in love with the outdoors(even if the fish aren’t cooperating) you know what they say”Bad day of fishing is still a better day at work” Tight Lines everyone!
J.D. and Danny Baker
J.D. and Danny Baker are a father/son duo who hail from Wamego, Kansas. J.D. has been a tournament fisherman for over 20 years, and has accrued wins at every major Nebraska reservoir, along with numerous top 10 finishes throughout his career. Two years ago, Danny joined the team, and together they have been consistent top 10 finishers, including a 6th place finish at the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit tournament on Lake McConoughey in 2018. They also claimed back-to-back top 10 Team of the Year spots in the Nebraska Walleye Trail in 2017 & 2018.
I grew up in west bend Wisconsin bass & pan fishing with my dad every chance we had & when I couldn't fish with him I was riding my bike to local ponds & rivers. When I turned 18 my father helped me buy my first used boat & we started fishing a local Thursday night tournament where we always had a blast! Shortly after I started targeting walleye where I could fish all year in the boat on our rivers when they weren't froze, then my passion grew learning & figuring out this different species of fish, alongside learning everyday I also like to pass on my passion to others through local events & our local high school outdoors club. When pre fishing tournaments I absolutely love sharing the boat with my wife & son!
I was fortunate enough to have grown up fishing northern Wisconsin lakes and the Lake Winnebago System. Winnebago can present a new challenge each trip, offering the chance to catch walleye using every presentation imaginable. The experiences I gain on this system allow me to grow and develop as an angler. My exposure to tournament fishing started when I watched my dad fish the Professional Musky Tournament Trail at a young age, I was hooked. I continued to fish throughout my teenage years and purchased my first boat in 2014. That summer I made the decision to start fishing tournaments. Each year you learn and develop more as an angler and that’s what keeps me motivated from season to season. In 2015 I joined the board of directors for the Bago Walleye Club, a club that hosts a series of 4 tournaments on the Winnebago System. The club has been a great experience thus far. I see all of the work that is involved in creating and improving upon competitive angling opportunities. I am excited for future seasons and the opportunity to work with Walleye Nation Creations.
Brian Ondrejka is the owner of Kansas Angling Experience Guide Service out of Lawrence, Kansas. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he prides himself in being the best multi-species outfit in northeast Kansas; leaving no bite left behind 12 months out of the year. Whether it be Walleye, Wiper, White Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, and Crappie. He is an avid tournament angler with East Kansas Bassmasters, as well as a pro staff member of Bass Pro Shops, Fox River Lures & Rods, Bink’s Pro Series Spoons, and new for the 2018 season, Walleye Nation Creations, LLC. Brian has guided hundred and hundreds of successful fishing trips all over Northeast Kansas since 2015, and loves helping people get the most out of their fishing time and budget.
Joey is the owner of Willowpine Outdoors, a media production company that focuses on podcasts, videos, articles and other sources of online journalism. Joey is also the Public Relations Director for the Indiana Walleye Anglers Association. Joey is an avid walleye and crappie angler, but he grew up traveling the US with his family fishing some of the premier largemouth bass lakes in the country. As a teenager his relationship with walleye began while wading the inlet and outlet creeks of Cataract Lake in West Central Indiana. The obsession grew from there, and he now targets walleye competitively all around the midwest.
When he’s not fishing, Joey enjoys time on and off the water with his young son Archer. Joey also spends a lot of fall hours chasing waterfowl and whitetail deer. In addition to working in the outdoor industry, Joey does sales and marketing in the industrial engineering field.
I have had the privilege to live my life in northern Minnesota, where we have an outstanding multi species fishing opportunities year-round. Whether it’s open water or on the ice, my #1 passion is chasing walleyes. I can be jigging for walleyes out of a canoe in the Canadian Shield waters or BWCA, and a couple hours later be trolling crankbaits in the Great Lakes. I am an active member of the Twin Ports Walleye Association which has several hundred members of incredibly good fishermen and women. I fished the Pro circuit as a Co-angler for a number of years and also fish local tournaments and events. I spend much of my winter months painting custom lures and baits and was offered the opportunity to participate in the development of several new color schemes for 2019. I have had great success thus far “locally” with all of the Walleye Nation Creations products and I think 2019 is going to be a great year…