About The Hall and The Museum
The Fishing Hall of Fame of Minnesota promotes angling in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and honors those individuals and organizations who have contributed so much to our fishing legacy. As a non-profit outreach organization, we’re dedicated to teaching Minnesotans about our state’s fishing history and preserving its future.
How The Museum Came About…
The idea of a fishing museum began in 1990. Al Baert, of Sartell, MN, was researching one of his “old lures”, a 1912 Surf Oreno, manufactured by the South Bend Bait Company. Looking at the 4″ wooden lure in his hand, he realized it was not the value or dollar amount that was so meaningful, but rather the wonderful stories and memories it represented – a piece from a past era.
Al soon contacted his long-time friend, Morry Sauve, of St. Cloud, MN, and they began to lay the foundation for the Minnesota Fishing Museum. Flyers requesting donations of old fishing memorabilia were printed and mailed to friends. Items from all across Minnesota flowed in like a river; people realized it was better to donate items to the museum rather than keep them stored in garages or basements. Housed in a museum the pieces could be appreciated for their history instead of just collecting dust. For the donors, it was a chance to give recognition to significant people in their lives who enjoyed fishing, who share a part in Minnesota’s great fishing history.
By 1995 Al’s basement took on the look of a 1940’s tackle shop. Items occupied every square inch of available space. It was now time to locate a permanent home for the artifacts; one that could not only serve as a showcase for the items but that could also be an education center for future fishing generations.
In 1998, the Little Falls City Council unanimously welcomed the Minnesota Fishing Museum and donated space in the north end of the historic Cass Gilbert Depot building. After six months the museum outgrew its space and moved to the current site at 304 West Broadway, Little Falls, MN.
In 2006 a remodeling project created over 10,000 square feet to display thousands of donated artifacts. When you stop in for a visit you will view well-known manufactures: Pflueger, Evinrude, Hedden, Martin, South Bend and Creak Chub, and others. You can also catch a glimpse of the not-so-well-known: Frog Skin Bait, Jim Dandy, Spoony Fish and Leaping Lena, just to name a few. Click here to learn about becoming a member.