Lifestyle
Go Fish (With Your Clients)

Go Fish (With Your Clients)

Make the most of summer with a relaxing day (or two) of fishing with your best clients on a scenic lake or river.

Lake Minnetonka

For an easy but impressive fishing expedition, take your clients out to prestigious and eclectic Lake Minnetonka. Minnesota’s ninth largest lake, it takes its name from a Dakota word meaning “big water,” and covers nearly 15,000 acres. To optimize your efforts, hire professional fishing guide Dan Jasper—a U.S. Coast Guard captain and Lake Minnetonka resident—for a half-day or full day on a pontoon or specialty fishing boat. Rods, reels, tackle and bait are, of course, included. After you’ve caught your limit, head over to Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge in Spring Park. Score a table on the wharf and order a round of signature Lake Minnetonka Bootlegs made with gin, lemon and lime, followed by Fletcher’s famous pan-fried walleye and Minnesota-style tater tots. Jasper Guide Services, jasperservices.com; Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge, lordfletchers.com

Snelling Lake

Clients who are fascinated by military history will enjoy an excursion to Fort Snelling State Park, a 20-minute drive from downtown St. Paul. Situated at the junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, the historic fort was built in the early 1820s by soldiers in the Fifth U.S. Infantry Regiment. Park on the north side of Snelling Lake and fish from the dock (you’ll need your own gear). Once you’ve caught and released a plethora of pike, black crappie and largemouth bass, drive over to Axel’s River Grille, 10 minutes from the park in Mendota. Order a couple of Minnesota mules made with Prairie Organic Vodka and ginger beer, shore lunch breaded walleye fingers and the surf & turf platter with steak and Canadian lobster tail. Fort Snelling State Park, dnr.state.mn.us; Axel’s River Grille, axelsrestaurants.com

St. Croix River

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If your out-of-town clients have never ventured beyond downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, take them out to the St. Croix, a National Scenic Riverway. Meet Charles “Turk” Gierke, Stillwater native, professional fishing guide and U.S. Coast Guard Captain, and he’ll take you for a half- or full day and show you the best spots for walleye, sauger, sturgeon, smallmouth bass, and muskie, while offering expert river fishing tips and techniques. On the way home, stop for happy hour at Smalley’s Caribbean Barbeque in Stillwater. Relax on the patio and order mojitos, jerk wings, conch and sweet corn fritters, mahi mahi tacos and sugar cane skewered shrimp. When drinks arrive, toast to fishing. Croixsippi Fishing Guide Service, croixsippi.com; Smalley’s Caribbean Barbeque, smalleyscaribbeanbbq.com

Gull Lake

If your clients have never fished for walleye, the best-tasting king of the northern waters, take a quick trip to Brainerd, a 30-minute flight (or a two-and-a-half-hour drive) from the Twin Cities. Rent a cabin at Cragun’s, a classic “up north” resort on Gull Lake. Book a guided fishing trip through the concierge or follow the locals to the Army Corps of Engineers campground on the south end of the lake or the Gull Narrows bridge off Highway 77, where walleye can often be found in a 25-foot circle below the bridge. Afterward, head over to Ernie’s on Gull, a local hot spot. Find a table on the deck and order a couple of pints of Fenceline pale ale from Jack Pine Brewery in Baxter, a basket of cheese curds and the pan-fried walleye with wild rice risotto. Cragun’s, craguns.com; Ernie’s on Gull, erniesongull.com

Canada

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Reward clients for long-term loyalty with a once-in-a-lifetime, fly-in fishing trip in the breathtaking boreal forests of northern Ontario. Fly or drive to Thunder Bay, where you’ll find Wilderness North, founded by a Wisconsin Air Force veteran. Board a deHavilland Beaver float plane and watch the dramatic Lake Superior shoreline disappear as the pilot heads north to Miminiska Lodge on Miminiska Lake on the legendary Albany River. After drinks, appetizers and a three-course dinner in the main lodge—followed by the ultimate quiet night’s sleep in a well-appointed A-frame cabin—enjoy a hearty breakfast before spending a memorable day on a 16-foot Lund boat with an expert guide, angling for trophy northern pike, brook trout and walleye. Wilderness North, wildernessnorth.com