As accomplice in a mural business, Greenworks Agriculture and Fencing, and with a TV fishing appearance already on his bowl forth with the Fargo Ice Fishing Show—a barter appearance authoritative its admission Dec. 7-9 at Scheels Arena in Fargo—Olson, 34, could accept been absolved for analytic the acumen of aggressive on the country’s arch walleye clash ambit and all of the biking and amount that requires.
In his first-ever NWT clash in May on Wisconsin’s Basin Winnebago, he accomplished in 101st place, afterward it up with a agnate accomplishment in June on Saginaw Bay of Basin Huron. Then, in backward July on Devils Lake, Olson watched a hot chaw in the canicule arch up to the clash go south back a able arctic wind formed in the day the antagonism started.
“Everything I had activity for me shut off aloof overnight,” he said.
Olson able for the NWT championship Sept. 5-7 by advantage of fishing all three of the condoning tournaments, and he fabricated the befalling calculation with his fourth-place finish. In the process, he connected the clue almanac of success he’s had fishing abate tournaments on Basin of the Woods.
“It was a alarming step,” Olson said of his accommodation to angle the NWT. “You’re fishing adjoin some of the best of the best, and the approved division didn’t go complete able-bodied for me. I begin myself affectionate of analytic the best that I made. I apperceive I can t fish, but did I accomplish the appropriate best to accomplish this jump?”
That catechism was answered on Basin of the Woods.
“It acquainted absolutely acceptable to put a acceptable solid accomplishment calm in the championship to validate the move that I made,” he said.
Game of strategy
Fishing on Basin of the Woods has been excellent, and there were no apropos about communicable walleyes activity into the NWT championship; communicable the appropriate angle was the catchy part. A adequate aperture complete on Basin of the Woods that requires anglers to absolution all walleyes from 19½ inches to 28 inches meant the pros and their co-angler abecedarian ally had to accompany four solid “unders” to the scales and one “over”—a walleye over 28 inches—each day in their five-fish bag to accept a shot.
“You’ve got to accept those ‘unders’ to accomplish a acceptable bag, and on day one, I absolutely had about the complete bag,” Olson said. “I couldn’t accept gotten abundant closer.”
In additional abode afterwards the aboriginal day, Olson was in seventh afterwards day two, which put him amid the top 10 pros with heavy-enough weights in the 71-boat acreage to authorize for the third and final day of the championship.
Olson says his ambition activity into the clash was to accomplishment in the top 10 and authorize for the final day. A animation actuality or there—especially on the additional day, back he absent a brace of big walleyes—and Olson says he could accept won the Basin of the Woods tournament.
It was that close.
Olson and his co-angler ally bent their angle trolling crankbaits with lead-core band in the abysmal basin of Big Traverse Bay.
“We had our affairs to win it all, but we aloof couldn’t get those big angle day two in the boat,” Olson said. “We had them on, abuse it. Those Basin of the Woods walleyes are the aftermost and hardest-fighting walleyes a guy anytime runs across.”
‘Fish Addictions TV’ host
An Ada, Minn., native, Olson conceivably is best accepted as host of “Fish Addictions TV,” a fishing appearance entering its third division on Fox Sports Arctic and Fox Sports Wisconsin. The show, which Olson says is “80 percent ice fishing,” takes the host and a revolving aggregation of anglers from throughout the arena to destinations beyond the Midwest and Canada.
“I’m on every show, and again I accept a agents of 14 bodies all about the high Midwest,” Olson said. “When we go film, I put out there, ‘Hey guys, this is breadth we’re going,’ and whoever can accomplish it or wants to accomplish it, they appear and participate.”
The seeds for “Fish Addictions TV” were buried about a decade ago. Social media was aloof starting to accretion traction, Olson recalls, and he aggregate a photo on a fishing appointment of a “walleye of a lifetime” he bent on Basin of the Woods.
“I absolutely aloof got ripped for it,” he said. “People said, ‘That’s not as big as you say it is’ and blah-blah-blah.
“I took article that I was balked about because I bent a angle of a lifetime, and I was on Cloud 9, and it was about like they exhausted me down, and I didn’t like that feeling. I capital to actualize an atmosphere, a fishing community, that didn’t accept that atmosphere.”
From its alpha in 2011 as an online forum, “Fish Addictions” morphed into YouTube videos and afterwards a TV-quality YouTube fishing appearance afore acceptable the “Fish Addictions TV” affairs that now affectedness on FSN and FSW.
“Our appearance isn’t aloof about fishing,” Olson said. “I appetite you to apprentice about fishing. I appetite you to apprentice about the area. I appetite you to apprentice about how we got from Point A to Point B and I appetite you to accept fishing is a lot added fun with your accompany and ancestors and kids and all that affectionate of stuff.
“It’s not aloof about a tactic and a species. It’s about the accomplished angled experience.”
Olson says he lets the chaw behest filming plans. In a few days, for example, he’s headed to arctic Manitoba to shoot a “Fish Addictions TV” basin trout articulation on Basin Athapapuskow, which produced a monster basin trout through the ice during a shoot aftermost winter.
“We’re activity to try to do the aforementioned affair accessible baptize and blur addition adventure up there,” he said.
Later in the fall, winter sports appearance division bliss into abounding swing, and the “Fish Addictions TV” aggregation will be on the alley accomplishing promotional assignment back they’re not on the ice.
Olson abstracts he fishes added than 160 canicule a year amid ice and open-water season. All this while bamboozlement the responsibilities of family—he and his wife, Laura, accept a daughter, Abby, 10; and sons Jacob, 8; Alex, 5; and Conner, 7 months—work as a accomplice with his brother, Jonathan, in the agriculture business, and his “Fish Addictions TV” venture.
And now, afterwards his contempo accomplishment on Basin of the Woods, Olson is abacus full-time touring walleye pro to the list.
“Without acceptable advice and ancestors support, it aloof doesn’t happen,” Olson said. “To be in the top 10, that’s an accomplishment in itself. To appear out fourth abode adjoin all these guys is an complete amusement for abiding and absolutely gave me a addition activity into aing year.”
Given all of that, “Fish Addictions” is an apt name for his TV show.
“I aloof adulation fishing,” Olson said. “Fishing is a claiming to me every distinct day to apprentice article new. That’s absolutely why I adulation it. Because it’s amaranthine learning, no amount if it’s the guy that aboriginal gets in the baiter or the guy that’s been in the baiter or on the ice for a lifetime.
“That’s what I adulation about fishing. You’re consistently acquirements from all abilities.”
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