Don't miss the seminars with these local and national pros at the show!
If it swims, chances are Mark Zona knows how to catch it. Zona – or simply ‘Z’ as he is known throughout the fishing world – has been fooling fish with a rod and reel since he was old enough to walk. He fished his first bass tournament when he was just nine years old and immediately knew the fishing business was his calling. Since then his journey through the fishing industry has included positions in retail marine sales, professional fishing, corporate promotions and instructional seminars. In 2004, ESPN harnessed Zona’s extensive knowledge of professional bass fishing by employing him as co-host of The Bassmasters television show. In no time his angling insight, resilient personality and spontaneous humor earned him a fishing show host position on ESPN’s popular “Outdoor Block,” making him one of the most recognizable faces in outdoors television today.
Now Zona is the host of the popular Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show, which airs on the Outdoor Channel. While many of today’s fishing shows center on competitive angling, making for serious, intense programming, Zona goes a different direction with his show, giving his guests a license to relax, goof off and have fun while fishing some of the best lakes in the country. The show has become well established among the traditional hook and bullet audience and Zona’s approach to fun in fishing has also struck a chord with families as evidenced by the number of dads, moms and children who attend his personal appearances for autographs and photos. As a result, Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show has garnered support from the sport’s most recognized corporate partners as well as the support from influential brands outside the industry.
Since January, 2011, Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show has aired on the Outdoor Channel, America’s Leader in Outdoor TV. The Outdoor Channel is committed to bringing viewers substantial, high-quality, educational entertainment from the outdoors, which is why the network is such a perfect home for Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show.
Joe Bucher is a National Freshwater-Fish Hall Of Fame Legendary Angler and one of the most highly regarded multispecies authorities in the outdoor trade. He has been an on-camera talent for 25 years. While his specialty is arguably muskies, Joe is equally adept at catching bass, walleyes, and other gamefish and holds several line class world records for multiple freshwater gamefish.
Joe has also authored six books as well as being a regular contributing writer for many regional and national publications. His articles regularly appear in the pages of Outdoor News Publications as well as Musky Hunter Magazine, which he founded. He has been a writer and photographer for over 35 years with his first article appearing when he was just 19 years old!
Joe has pioneered many of the musky angling concepts that are-now considered mainstream techniques, and his big gamefish lure designs spawned an exciting surge in the overall focus on muskies as a featured sport fish across much of North America.
Joe Bucher is also one of the most highly sought after seminar orators for big gamefish in the country today drawing crowds of both fans as well as hard-core anglers anxious to learn more from one of the true masters of big fish.
The year 2017 marks the 27th season of Fishing With Joe Bucher.
John Crews is a veteran professional bass angler and BASS Elite Series Champion that also owns Missile Baits, a popular soft plastics fishing company. During his 19 year pro angling career, John has qualified for 11 Bassmaster Classics and amassed well over $1 million is earnings. Winning the 2010 BASS Elite Series event on the California Delta is the highlight of his tournament career. Started in 2012, Crews began Missile Baits. It has grown to a company that sells in about every major retail outlet and internationally. In addition to fishing and the company, John is married with 3 children and loves working out. He also is avid about helping with Autism Awareness and uses his pro angler status to help spread the word and raise money for charities.
Seth Feider of Bloomington, MN has catapulted himself to the top of the fan favorites list. After a tough first rookie year he has 4 top five finishes in the past 2 years including a win at last year’s Mille Lacs Angler of the Year Championship. This year he qualified for his first Bassmaster Classic Championship finishing at 14th in Angler of the Year points. His favorite technique is dropshotting for offshore bass on rock structures however he is adept at multiple techniques as shown during his second place finish at Champlain this year. When Seth isn’t fishing, you can find him hunting. Seth’s appearance is sponsored by Daiwa.
When the discussion of top musky anglers comes into discussion Steve’s name invariably enters into the mix and the terms " legendary " and " innovator" are often brought up . With over 28 yrs. of experience guiding and instructing from northern WI's Vilas County to the Canadian Shield waters of famed Eagle Lake Steve brings a wealth of new knowledge, patterns, and presentations. "this seminar won’t be just an advertisement or entertainment but the real meat and potatoes overview of overlooked and sometimes contrary to many popular belief patterns and thoughts. There is also a preview of some new and exciting big fish patterns more recently developing and emerging by the ever changing environment and ecosystems especially on the Canadian Shield water of NW Ontario but applicable anywhere in musky country." From 1994 to date Steve and his clients have boated 43 muskies 40# - 50#+ on Eagle lake Ontario and in the prior 6 yrs. guiding in WI's Vilas County 2 times guided clients to the largest musky boated in the state for the year with weighed fish 55 1/2" 43# 6 oz in 1987 and 53" 47# 10 oz in 1992 along with numerous top ten releases. After a speaking hiatus due to previous work loads and now returning due to popular demand, Steve brings back to the stage a knowledge and passion that is unique and contagious. This is one you won’t want to miss!
Cheryl Smith, also known as OutdoorGirl, is a multi-species angler on both open water and ice. She has spent the last 8 years working in the fishing industry representing leading companies. Cheryl is a USCG Licensed Master Captain, has fished local bass tournaments on the Fox Chain O’ Lakes, is an outdoor writer and a regular contributor on Chauncey’s Great Outdoors on ESPN Radio AM 1000. Her passion for fishing and dedication to the industry has gained her much respect. It is apparent through her enthusiasm that she truly loves teaching others.
Jim Saric is a Legendary Angler in the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. He is the Host and Executive Producer of The Musky Hunter television series, Editor and Publisher of Musky Hunter Magazine, and a seven-time musky tournament winner. He has a monthly column in Midwest Outdoors Magazine, and is a contributing writer for In-Fisherman, North American Fisherman and Fishing Facts magazines. He has produced ten highly acclaimed musky videos, co-authored the book “The Complete Guide to Musky Hunting” and just released his new book “Muskies My Way.” Jim conducts over 30 seminars annually, and teaches the University of Esox musky schools throughout the country. Jim has over thirty years’ experience fishing lakes, rivers, and reservoirs from Minnesota to New York and all across Canada.
Check out: www.muskyhunter.com
After landing his first fish in utero, Kurt was destined to fish. While completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Physics, he found a love for computer programming. In 2010, he combined his passions of programming and fly fishing by programming a ‘web based, page turning’ app to display an online magazine called a Tight Loop Magazine. Today, Kurt is the Editor of a Tight Loop. As a Midwesterner through and through, Kurt believes the Midwest offers some of the best fishing in the world. The goal of a Tight Loop is to showcase the Midwest fishery. When not working to promote the region’s fisheries, you can find Kurt stomping, rowing or laughing on a local smallmouth stream or chasing fish in Lake Michigan on a fly.
Jen is the Editor-in-Chief of Dun Magazine and the Executive Editor of a Tight Loop Magazine. When not on the water, she spends her time empowering women in fly fishing by teaching fly tying and fly casting clinics, speaking nationwide on issues regarding women in fly fishing and devoting her time to conservation efforts through nonprofits. A sounding board for women in this currently male-dominated sport, Jen has created a home base for women worldwide to connect and engage in the art of fly fishing.
Steve Everetts is the owner and operator of Finseekers Guide Service operating out of Southern Wisconsin since 2004. Steve is a USCG licensed Charter Captain and licensed guide, pushing the open water fishing season throughout the calendar year. Everetts is a true multi-species angler targeting everything from panfish, bass, walleyes, pike, etc. on inland Wisconsin waters to salmon, bass, walleye, and other game fish on the Great Lakes. He is not only an avid fisherman, but also dedicated to protecting our valuable resources as well as educating young and old about the sport. Steve is the current President of Walleyes Unlimited USA – one of the leading multi-species fishing clubs in the upper Midwest. Everetts is also an accomplished seminar speaker, presenting unique ideas and tactics at several clubs around the upper Midwest. Steve and Finseekers have been featured several times in In-Fisherman magazine and Midwest Outdoors as well as In-Fisherman TV. He is currently on the pro staff of: St. Croix Rods, Mercury Marine, Quams Motorsports, Lowrance Electronics and Pradco Lures among others. Steve’s presentation will be on NIGHT FISHING GENEVA LAKE in southern Wisconsin. He will be discussing patterns, equipment, and safety for success during the summer and both the early and late fall periods. You can learn more about Captain Everetts at Finseekers.com.
Dave has been the owner of Dave’s Bait, Tackle and Taxidermy in Crystal Lake, on Rte. 176 and 31 since 1989. Dave says: “ I have the best job in the world…I get to teach people about hunting and fishing.” Dave fishes bass tournaments on the Fox Chain of Lakes System and the Madison Chain of Lakes and many other bodies of water in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. Dave will present multi-species seminars for local lake fishing.
Carter Wijangco of Naperville, IL has had a passion for fishing since his grandpa introduced him to the sport in kindergarten. Carter was hooked instantly and has evolved from fishing with a hook and a worm to competing in tournaments across the country.While you may see other kids after school sitting at home on electronics, you can find Carter fishing at neighborhood ponds, tuning in his techniques for the next tournament. Carter's favorite techniques are flipping and frogging, but he has a wide skill set that is crucial in winning tournaments. In Carter's 4 years of tournament fishing he has had 14 top 3 finishes in local, BASS, and FLW tournaments as well as qualifying for the past two years for the Bassmaster Junior National Championship where he placed 1st last summer in 2018. While only being a freshman, Carter has competed in local adult tournaments and has won a handful. When Carter isn't fishing, he is hunting, wrestling, mountain biking, snowboarding or working on his Eagle project for Boy Scouts.
Dustan Harley was born less than a mile from the Saint Joseph River and can’t remember a time when he wasn’t on the river fishing. He grew up fishing on the rivers of Indiana and Michigan and is lucky enough today to spend most days on those same rivers. He founded Ripple Guide Service in 1999 to give fishermen an unforgettable experience and is the only full-time fly fishing guide on the St. Joe system. He guides the rivers of Indiana, Michigan, and Montana for steelhead, salmon, trout, smallmouth bass, pike, and just about anything else that swims. Dustan has also spoken to fly fishing clubs from Tennessee to California. When not on the river, he can be found fishing with his children or designing new flies for the fish he loves to fool.
As a long time guide, licensed charter captain, and tournament angler, Joe Henry has made fishing a part of his everyday life. Joe “cut his teeth” on MN lakes and rivers and has guided and fished walleyes throughout the nation. Joe’s home water is now Lake of the Woods, which he has fished for over 25 years.
Professionally, Joe has enjoyed a variety of executive leadership positions, is an outdoor communicator and a media member of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. His professional background combined with his many fishing credentials lead him to his current role, Executive Director of Tourism for Lake of the Woods.
Joe works closely with 60 resorts, area guides, and a number of stakeholders in the outdoor industry. He is an active writer, appears in outdoor TV shows, produces outdoor videos, digital media and speaks about fishing and the outdoors across the Midwest.
Bill Schultz lives in New Berlin and Sturgeon Bay, WI, and is a contributing writer for Badger Sportsman Magazine, Kayak Angler Magazine, www.lake-link.com, along with several other web sites. Since catching his first smallmouth bass in 1994, he has caught and released 22,500. His focus has been on the big waters of Green Bay in and around Sturgeon Bay, along with rivers and streams throughout Wisconsin. Bill’s popular talks at sports shows and fishing events have turned thousands onto the tremendous opportunities and excitement of fishing for smallmouth bass on lakes and rivers. Catching and releasing smallmouth bass and sharing his recipe for success has become a passion for him. Bill’s appearance is sponsored by St. Croix Rods and Jackson Kayak.
John Cleveland began launching flies into the wind at the age of 10, and was immediately hooked on the magic and challenge of temping fish with the use of hook, feathers and fur. John’s “day job” as Marketing Director of Eppinger Mfg. Co. (Makers of the famous Dardevle Spoons) has enabled him to travel to and experience some of North Americas prime fishing destinations including Alaska and much of northern Canada and the Arctic. He holds numerous fly fishing and conventional tackle catch and release line class world records for Norther Pike, Arctic Char, Sea Run Rainbow Trout and Lake Trout in the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame.
He has a passion for both Spoon and fly fishing as they are two of the oldest, most traditional methods of presenting artificial lures to fish. Marketing the world famous Eppinger Dardevle spoons has provided many unique adventure travel opportunities and quite literally fed his family for the past 15 years. Fly fishing is his passion feeding his soul with its wonder, and mystique for over 50 years. Spoons and flies are simply favorites, and he believes the most effective delivery systems to the magic world of fishing, using both when pursuing large predatory fish.
Working in the fishing industry as a Marketing Director, outdoor writer and seminar speaker, John enjoys the opportunity of sharing the adventure, magic and camaraderie of a sport that takes him to some of the most beautiful places on earth.
Capt. Ralph Steiger
Capt. Ralph Steiger grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan chasing salmon, trout, and smallmouth bass. His love for the fishery brought him to the next level by becoming a United States Coast Guard licensed master captain. He guides full-time on the south end of Lake Michigan fishing both Indiana and Illinois waters. He is a multi-species angler that primarily targets smallmouth bass, perch, salmon, and trout. He is revered as one of the top captains on Lake Michigan by his clients and anglers alike.
Mark is an accomplished angler, guide, and marine electronics educator with years of on-the-water knowledge and fishing experience. His approach to fishing is more technical than most, but he also has the ability to translate that technology in a manner easy for one to understand. He presents numerous seminars and classes both on and off the water in the Midwest and Canada, with the concentration being how to use today’s technology to catch more fish.
The presentation will be Fishing Lake Geneva with Today’s Technology. Mark fishes this deep clear water lake throughout the year and he will be discussing the changes in habitat and game fish that are evolving this great body of water. He will also present a few of techniques and technologies he uses while scouting structure to locate and catch big fish throughout the seasons.
Mark’s sponsors include: Ranger Boats, St. Croix Rod, Cabela’s, Mercury, MotorGuide, Dr. Sonar, Lowrance, Navionics, Optima and P-Line. Learn more about Mark at www.structure-fishing.com.
Jeff Boutin is a US certified Coastguard Captain and fishing guide on the Bay of Green Bay. Jeff has been fishing for walleyes on the Bay since 1987, and currently spends at least 50 days on the water as a professional fishing guide. Jeff is the founder and President of a non-profit kids fishing tournament called Tomorrows Anglers. Tomorrows Anglers fishing tournament was just broadcast nationally with MidWest Outdoors. Jeff is an Outdoors writer for Badger Sportsman’s Magazine, his articles on walleye fishing the Bay of Green Bay can be read from March through August issues.
Jeff’s sponsors include: Mercury Marine, Starcraft, SkipperBuds, Humminbird, Minn Kota, and Churches Tackle Co.
Jeff has been an avid fisherman his whole life, even spending 6 years as a first mate on a lake Michigan charter boat during the 1980’s. Since his early teenage years, Jeff has been primarily focusing on Walleye fishing leading up to his present guide service. As well as his guide service, Jeff has created a tackle company called Team-Outdoors, where he has designed his own unique fishing products. Jeff and his wife Karen who is a chef, have a an All-Inclusive service which offers first class fishing charters with lodging and gourmet meals at their Green Bay location.