All Speakers

Brandon Palaniuk

2022 BASS Angler of the Year, Brandon Palaniuk,  aka “The Prodigy”, is one of the most popular anglers on the professional bass fishing tournament trail today. At the age of 35, he has accomplished more than most professional anglers have in a lifetime.

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Truly a grass roots success story – From successfully competing in club competition, to earning a spot on the Idaho State Team, to making it to the federation championship, securing a tour card by winning the whole thing and twice now, B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year (2017 & 2022). After winning the Federation Nation National Championship he’s accumulated 31 top 10 finishes including six wins on the Bassmaster Elite Trails. He’s advanced to the Classic 11 times including a second place finish on Grand Lake in 2013.

Brandon is an approachable “star” and an outstanding ambassador to the sport.

Oliver Ngy

Oliver Ngy is a self-taught angler from Southern California, he learned the values of commitment and dedication at an early age.
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Since then, Oliver has become a familiar face in the bass scene and is renowned for catching monster fish of many species with a specialty in double digit largemouth and 5+lb smallmouth bass. To learn more about Oliver and his fishing adventures visit or his website,

Jim Saric

Jim is the host of “The Musky Hunter” television series. In 2012, Jim was inducted as a Legendary Angler into the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame. For 21 years Jim was the Editor/Publisher of Musky Hunter magazine.

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Jim has produced 17 musky fishing DVDs, including 12 seasons of “The Musky Hunter.” Jim wrote Muskies My Way and co-wrote The Complete Guide to Musky Hunting and Musky Metrics. He has a monthly column in Midwest Outdoors magazine, and is a contributor to many other publications. He frequently guest hosts many radio programs nationwide.

A seven-time musky tournament winner, Jim conducts seminars and teaches classes on musky fishing throughout the country. Jim has over 40 years experience on lakes, reservoirs and rivers from Minnesota to New York and all across Canada, and has boated more than 225 muskies larger than 50 inches.

Jim’s sponsors include Ranger, RangerTrail, Mercury Outboards, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Ontario Tourism, MotorGuide, Shimano, G.Loomis, Musky Frenzy Lures, Chaos Tackle, Llungen Lures, Power Pro and Stowmaster nets.

Follow Jim and the Musky Hunter Television Show on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Visit

Ish Monroe

Ish Monroe is a popular angler who had great success in the B.A.S.S. Elites before accepting an invitation to fish the Major League Fishing (MLF) Pro Tour.  

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He won his first boat at 26-years old, Is a 5-time Bassmaster Elite Series champion (Mississippi River, Okeechobee, Fla., Oneida, NY, Grapevine and Amistad – both in Texas), 10-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier, and has earned over $3 million in career tournament winnings.  Twice he’s earned a Century Belt and entry into the Bassmaster Elite Series Century Club for breaking 100-pounds in a four-day event

 Many don’t know that Ish is originally from the mid-west.  His dad got him fishing when he was still in diapers and he pursued all species, “anything that would bite”, in Michigan. After moving to the West Coast, they targeted both fresh and saltwater. Ish’s first job, at 14-years-old, was at Hi’s Tackle Box in San Francisco and that was where his tournament life began with a club called The Bassholes. Nine years later, he qualified for the B.A.S.S. Top-150 (the B.A.S.S. circuit that preceded the Bassmaster Elite Series).  In 2006, Ish won the first-ever Bassmaster Elite Series event ever held. It was the first-event to award the winner $100,000.

 Ish prefers flipping, topwater, and frogging and is a true HAWG chaser.  When he’s not fishing?  He says “I’m always fishing.  I like to fish for anything. Carp, bluegill, crappie; as long as I’m fishing I’m happy”  He added, “I Love it.  For me it’s the purest thing in the world.”

Nick Cousvis

Nick started fishing at the age of 13 where he spent many summer days on inland lakes in Southern

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Once he was old enough his competitive nature lured him to tournaments where he became
well known for consistent top finishes, many Championship appearances and 1st place finishes across Southern Ontario.

His growing passion for Smallmouth bass transitioned his angling skills from inland to the Great lakes and has never looked back. Now with over 15 years of experience on the Big Ponds he
spends his time targeting trophy Smallmouths, particularly in the Spring and Fall months where he guides customers to some of the biggest Smallmouth Bass that swim. He’s recorded catches of several
fish over 7lbs and 3 over 8 including his biggest 8.37lb from Lake Ontario. His #questforan8lbsmallmouth has now been changed to #questfora9lbsmallmouth. Nick also started a program teaching new anglers how to fish. Anything from trailering and boating skills to reading electronics, tackle setup and how to locate and catch bass.

Megabass of America 2014-present
Smith Optics 2014-present
Simms Fishing 2015-present
Daiwa Reels 2018-present

@IG nickcousvisfishing
@facebook Nick Cousvis
@youtube Nick Cousvis Fishing

Jen Ripple
Jen is the Editor-in-Chief of Dun Magazine and the Executive Editor of a Tight Loop Magazine.
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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.
Joe Henry

As a fishing guide, licensed charter captain, and tournament angler, Joe Henry has made fishing a part of his everyday life. He has experienced many successes throughout the years with some tough days sprinkled in as well. It is learning from both, Joe believes, helps make an angler more effective and versatile.

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Joe has shared fishing techniques, strategies and philosophies with thousands through seminars across the U.S. He has a way of communicating and connecting with audiences, not speaking over their heads, but sharing information in a way that is both understandable and beneficial, yet entertaining.

Professionally, Joe has enjoyed many leadership positions and serves on a variety of boards. His
professional background combined with his many fishing credentials lead him to his current role,
Executive Director of Lake of the Woods Tourism, where in 2022 he earned the Tourism Professional of
the Year award for the state of MN.

Joe works closely with 60 lodging facilities, area guides, and a variety of stakeholders. He is an active
outdoor writer with articles published in dozens of publications. He appears in outdoor TV shows,
produces videos, digital media, social media, and speaks about fishing and the outdoors across the

John Cleveland

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.
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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.

Mark O’Neill

Mark is an accomplished angler, guide, and marine electronics educator with years of on-the-water knowledge and fishing experience.    

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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.

With working relationships with Lowrance, Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine, St. Croix Rods, Motorguide, Dakota Lithium and Optima Batteries to name a few, he is continually exposed to the latest technologies as they become available and he demonstrates and shares those technologies at the seminars, classes, On the Water Training sessions and guide trips that he does throughout the year.  Learn more about Mark at

Matt Firestein
Captain Matt “Catfish” Firestein owns and operates “Whopper Stopper Muskie Charters and Guide Service” on LK. ST. Clair. He starts with walleyes in the Detroit River in April and May then Muskies… June through December.
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The Captain has fished muskies and been successful from East of Montreal to Winnipeg. He has had many tournament wins . He specializes in casting, jigging and trolling for big Muskies on LK. St. Clair and connecting rivers. 26 years of addictive Musky fishing behavior gives him a unique outlook on tactics that will help any angler in the pursuit of giant fish in LSC or his local lakes.
Steve Heiting

Steve Heiting is one of musky fishing’s best-known anglers and an inducted member of the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame. He is a fishing guide, freelance writer, and video & radio producer after working as managing editor at Musky Hunter magazine for more than 27 years.

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 Steve is co-owner of the University of Esox Musky Schools, conducts numerous musky fishing seminars, and serves as master of ceremonies for the National Championship Musky Open, the largest musky tournament in the world. Each spring, Steve is lead presenter at the first-ever college musky fishing course, at Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.

 He is host of Steve Heiting’s Northwoods Musky Report, a weekly radio segment broadcast throughout Wisconsin’s northwoods during the summer on WJJQ Radio, and archived on all podcast formats. He also produces Steve Heiting’s Musky Tips on YouTube and social media.

 Steve has written, edited or contributed to 27 books about musky fishing and has produced five musky fishing DVDs.

Steve Welch

Steve has he’s been guiding on Lake Shelbyville since 1994 fishing it over forty years. He has 27 tournament wins and won several Crappie U.S.A. and Crappie Masters tourneys, both locally and regionally, finishing in the top ten against the top pros in the country. 

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He was the Region Three thirteen-state champion in 2006 and placed in the top 15 in 3 of the 9 National Championships. He was picked by In-Fisherman magazine as one of the top guides in the entire Midwest.

Steve’s writing has been featured in several national magazines including In-Fisherman, Walleye In-Sider & Field & Stream, as well as local publications such as Illinois Fish & Game, Heartland Outdoors and Adventure Sports Outdoors to name a few. He’s written hundreds of articles over the years and currently writes a monthly column in Adventure Sports Outdoors. He’s done seminar speaking at just about every in-state fishing show during the winter months, drawing huge crowds.

Since retiring from tourney fishing to concentrate on guiding, he’s purchased the 1st ever Yar-Craft 2095 BTX boat that Bass Cat Built.  A comfy 20ft. tiller to accommodate you and 2 other anglers.  Steve is a multi-species guide that fishes for crappie year round along with walleye and white bass seasonally.

Rob Manthei
Rob Manthei is a full time guide in Northern Wisconsin and owner of St Germain Lodge and Resort on beautiful Big St Germain Lake.
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Rob appears frequently on the John Gillespie Show, speaks to fishing clubs and at shows around the Midwest, and also runs several local fishing events in my area. When not fishing multi species, with his focus on smallmouth bass, walleye, and his favorite, the musky, you’ll find Rob out in the Western states chasing elk, mule deer, or antelope.

Jerry Costabile

With more than 40+ years in the charter business on Lake Michigan, Capt. Jerry has established himself as one of the best in the business.

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Owner and operator of Resolute Sportfishing Charters out of Kenosha, Wi., Capt. Jerry spends over 100 days on the water every season perfecting his presentations to catch more trout and salmon for his customers and staying competitive in salmon tournaments.

Capt. Jerry is the founder of the successful and unique trout and salmon school, “Top 2 Bottom”. This class not only gives classroom instruction to be highly successful, but it also gives the students a chance to put it all to work. The students are taken out on the charter boat “RESOLUTE” and get the opportunity to run the presentations the make Resolute Sportfishing Charters so successful.

Capt. Jerry worked with Jim Grandt and Grandt Rods to develop several custom designed trolling rods just for the demands of battling Lake Michigan trout and salmon.
Capt. Jerry is one of the top seminar speakers on the western side of Lake Michigan, speaking at several of the largest Fishing and Outdoor show in the
Midwest. He is also a popular speaker at many of the sportfishing clubs in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana.
Capt. Jerry and Resolute Sportfishing Charters is a contributor to many charitable Organizations to include; The Paralyzed Veterans of America, Wisconsin Chapter, and The Oconto River Kids.

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.
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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.

Bill Kutka

Bill grew up in Chicagoland area and lived in Northern Illinois for 36 years. He is a full time guide in
Hayward Wisconsin and also seasonally guides on Lake Erie in April, May, October and November.

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He is a seasoned Walleye Tournament Pro for over 3 decades, who has qualified for championships and was named Sportsman of the Year in the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail. 


Bill is a US Coast Master Captain and has a wide list of sponsors that support him on the water. He is a Pro member of the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) and The Walleye Federation. 


Bill helps provide support to numerous 401C3 corporations and charity work throughout the industry.  Those in need include the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, Fishing Has No Boundaries, Fishing for Autism, Minnesota Teen Challenge and various Veterans Fishing Programs. Bill also works with the Wisconsin DNR on programs supporting Conservation on a continual basis


He is honored to have been nominated by many industry experts and leaders for the 2023 induction into the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame after spending decades in this industry. The list of personal endorsements for his nomination into the Hall of Fame includes U.S. Congressman (MN) Pete Stauber, Rick Rosalina – Show Producer – (OSG) Outdoor Sports Group, Chris Ruckdaschel – Executive Director – Hayward Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as other legendary Hall of Famers including Al Lindner, Jim Grandt, Ted Takasaki, Bruce DeShano and Bob Mehsikomer.


Bill also does numerous media broadcasts throughout the year. Back in the day he was a regular with Bob Maciulis on his Chicagoland “Outdoor Notebook” radio program as well as providing articles for his monthly Outdoor Notebook Magazine. More recently he’s been part of Mike Jackson’s “Mike Jackson Outdoors” show which broadcasts in Northern Illinois as well as a far reach in the Upper Midwest. Others include John Myhre’s “Wisconsin Northland Outdoors Radio” program up in Hayward WI that also go on a national podcast, Jay Angel on his “Let’s Talk Fishing” podcasts, Hurricane Jerry Huffar on his “The Fishin’ Hole” program and Carl Bachtel from Channel 3 in Cleveland, Ohio and his ”Inside the Great Outdoors” radio shows. He loves to talk fishing, sportsmanship, and just good conversation with all of them.



Violet Talley

Violet is an up-and-coming bass tournament angler excelling in both the sport and the business of fishing. She has had a passion for fishing since she was 3 years old and is currently a tournament bass angler and outdoor enthusiast currently competing in the Midwest bass tournament circuits.

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She is also a professional photographer, graphic designer, structural designer, and owner/operator of a successful business that caters to several markets, including the fishing industry. Through her YouTube channel (and other social media channels), sponsorships, and involvement in the fishing community, Violet has been an influential ambassador for the sport of fishing, especially inspiring other women, youth, and amateur anglers in building their confidence, techniques, knowledge, and skills in the sport.

Todd Huynh

Todd Huynh is an avid angler from the Chicagoland area. His passion is chasing big bass all over North America, especially smallmouths. He considers Sturgeon Bay his home lake.

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Todd is the co-owner of Keepin’ It Reel Resorts up in Sturgeon Bay, a collection of beautiful rental homes built especially for anglers. He’s also a partner with Papchal Lodge on Lake Comedero in Sinaloa, Mexico. 


Todd’s sponsors include Nitro Boats, D&R Sports, Blackfish Gear, St Croix Rods, Yamamoto Baits, Shimano, Humminbird, MinnKota, Seaguar, All Terrain Tackle, Mercury Marine, Owner Hooks, Bass Boat Technologies, DD26 Fishing, Motor Sock, Precision Sonar, and Amped Outdoors. 

You can find Todd at

Mike Mladenik

Mike’s been guiding for 44 years in Marinette County, Wisconsin. He has logged in over 7,000 days on the water guiding area lakes and flowages for smallmouth, walleye, northern pike and musky.

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His specialty is river smallmouth. In 2021 he was inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall Of Fame. Few guides spend as much quality time with their clients sharing his expertise which makes for a memorable day on the water. Mike has authored 10 fishing books and has been published in many regional and national publications.

Louis Monetti

Louis Monetti, fishing for UNC Charlotte, is the College Bassmaster Bracket Champion, qualifying him to fish the 2023 Bassmaster Classic.

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Although he first started fishing with his dad at age 3 it wasn’t until later in middle school that he started bass fishing when a friend told him to try it; he was hooked instantly. At age 14 he started to compete in NJ Bass Nation youth tournaments increasing his passion and his ability. Wanting to fish in college 12 months of the year he opted to go south. At UNC Charlotte as a freshman, he joined the bass fishing team and represented his school for four years, graduating in 2022 with a degree in business administration, marketing. Although he did graduate he was able to continue to compete as the college season runs April to October. While in school he started working at the Bizz Baits warehouse and still does until this day.

Louis’ appearance is sponsored by Bizz Baits.