Concierge-Go Fish!-August 2011
Angling on one of the Twin Cities’ beautiful lakes and rivers offers a truly memorable way to entertain VIPs. To help you make the most of your time on the water, we recommend hiring an experienced guide to ensure a smooth, satisfying, VIP-style experience. Guides offer half-day and full-day rates for groups of two to 200 people, and they can provide virtually everything but fishing licenses, which can be ordered on line at dnr.state.mn.us.
Charles “Turk” Gierke has been guiding trips as a professional for more than 13 years. While Gierke works on both the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers, he tends to focus on the St. Croix for the fine fishing, the variety of species, and the beauty of the river. Most customers are usually eager to hit the water, so Gierke starts as early as 7 a.m., with lunch in the charming town of Afton as an option. C. Jay Leary, director of worldwide channel sales for IBM Security Solutions says, “My work requires long hours and a lot of travel. Taking a day off isn’t always easy to do, so I want to be thoughtful about where I spend my time and money. Fishing with Turk is a ‘no risk proposition,’ as he has top-shelf gear, a beautifully maintained boat, and knowledge that is second to none.” Half-day trips start at $215, full days start at $295, 715-377-0006, croixsippi.com.
Lake Minnetonka Fishing Guide Service
Longtime fishing guide Doug Warren loves introducing visiting businesspeople to the pleasures of Lake Minnetonka. He also enjoys teaching novice anglers how to fish. “From a business perspective, fishing is a great way to get to know your client,” Warren says. “It’s really laid back, and it’s better than golf, because you don’t leave frustrated at the end of the day.” Warren usually picks up clients at the public dock in Wayzata, with a break for lunch at Lord Fletcher’s, followed by celebratory cocktails at Maynard’s or Bayside Grille in Excelsior. Michelle Voita, operations manager for lighting and building controls company Pulse Products, says, “This year will be our fourth event with Doug. It’s a huge success for our team, and most importantly, our customers. It’s not your typical corporate event, and everyone learns new tips and catches fish.” Half day trips for two cost $300, 612-860-3052, lakeminnetonkaguides.com.
Big Dog Fishing
Guide Gary Klingler has spent more than 20 years in engineering and manufacturing “day jobs,” so he understands the value of getting out of the office. Klingler appreciates taking female executives out on the water. “They listen, and they’re easier to deal with,” Klingler laughs. “When we have a contest, the women usually win by a lot, and the guys get so flustered!” This summer is the 10th year of the Midwave Bass Classic with Big Dog Guides. “It’s our flagship client event,” says Bob Krocak, vice president for local technology company Midwave Corporation. “Gary organizes 130 people, 65 guides, and 65 boats. Everyone loves getting out on the water, even if they don’t fish.” Klingler also guides winter ice fishing trips. Half day trips start at $175 per person, 612-810-7330, bigdogguide.net.
Erickson Guide Services
Kurt Erickson grew up fishing and this is his 11th year as a professional guide on Lake Minnetonka and other metro area lakes. “Having spent many years in the financial services marketing industry, I know just how good it feels to get out of the office,” Erickson says. “Even if my clients don’t catch anything, which is unusual, they love being outside, enjoying nature.” For large groups, Erickson often hosts tournament-style contests with prizes for first fish caught, biggest fish, most fish caught, and other categories. He also offers guided ice fishing during the winter, plus early spring ice out fishing, “for the most excitement this side of Canada.” A half-day trip for up to three people costs $300, 612-801-5058, ericksonguide.com.