Recently I was asked to contribute more to North American Fisherman's Club, website, and facebook page. I just wanted to take a few moments to introduce myself. Currently I'm a fulltime captain and host Big Fish 365. I guide fulltime for just about everything here in the Midwest such as smallies, brown trout, salmon, walleyes, muskies, steelhead, largies, catfish, and pan fish. I've also been fortunate enough to work with "North American Fisherman T.V." on a few shows.
A few things about me: I decided to guide fulltime 10+ years ago and it was the scariest decision I've ever made as an individual. I quit my job as a HR and environmental manger to try guiding fulltime. I got my captains license and started doing trips in the Milwaukee Harbor for brown trout and things really took off from there.
I've been fortunate to have opportunities to film some television shows with hall of fame anglers such as Babe Winkleman, Spence Petros and many other great anglers such as Steve Panez, Mark Zona, and Mike Iconilli these guys are all Icons to me.
As a fulltime guide I'm on the water 5+ days a week all year round, including ice fishing. Two goals I have when clients step onto my boat are; to make sure they have a fantastic time and hopefully catch the biggest fish of their life. What I love about my job most is that I get to teach people how to fish. I also get taught a thing or two from some of my clients. This sport is always changing and evolving and to be an exceptional angler one has to be a student of the game. I also love the challenge of finding fish, and finding different ways to catch fish.
I certainly could not guide fulltime without the support of my family. I have to give so much credit for my passion in fishing to my late father Wayne Haataja and late Grandfather Joseph Kolfler. They both have taught me so many things about the game of fishing. Most importantly I'm married to Natasha and father to Cal (10), Hanna(8), and Cammie (4).
On a side note we also as a family love hunting, I think one of the greatest outdoor memories I have is being with my kids while hunting.
May your lines be tight with big fish this 2012 season!