Those We Honor

You’ll find more than just fishing celebrities in this list. One can make a significant impact
on the lives of many without ever being well known. It is important to honor all of
those who had a great influence on the great sport of fishing, whether famous or not.
Corporate advances tend to be much more visible to us. For it’s their products that
shape the evolution of the sport of fishing.

Duane Peterson

Duane Peterson

Inducted 2015

Duane Peterson grew up in Bemidji, near the Mississippi River and Lake Bemidji. He kid-fished in boats and fish houses, and from banks, bridges, and docks. He got hooked for life, getting ultra-deep into many aspects of Minnesota’s multi-species fishing scene, from guiding and tournaments to tackle design, manufacture, and marketing. Along the way, he’s helped promote the sport among diverse audiences, young and old. And in the 1970s and 1980s he guided fishermen.

Duane is best known for his 25-year stint with Northland Fishing Tackle, established in 1975. Duane got on board with brother John Peterson in 1983 and served as Vice President/CFO and co-owner of the Bemidji-based firm. Duane helped grow Northland into one of America’s most prestigious tackle companies, with over 40 different trademark-registered lures. Duane managed the 200-member Team Northland pro staff, and helped them promote sport-angling near and far.

Duane has fished about 250 tournaments, starting in the early years of competitive angling for bass, muskies, and walleyes. His 40-year tournament history includes many first-place wins, like the 1976 Minnesota State BASS Federation championship, the 2009 Kraus-Anderson Walleye Classic championship, and the 2012 Rainy Lake/International Falls Bass Championship. Duane has been a five-time Minnesota B.A.S.S. Team member, and can boast a lifetime honorary membership in the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA). He often credits his deep immersion in angling and the fishing industry to the array of fishing-education resources, including In-Fisherman.

His promotion of angling through outdoor media illustrates Duane Peterson’s dedication to popularizing the sport. He has contributed to hundreds of fishing articles. His TV fishing includes appearances on Fishing with Roland Martin, Fishing the Midwest, Sportsman’s Notebook, and Ron Schara’s Minnesota Bound..
Duane has represented Minnesota anglers on various boards and committees, including DNR’s Walleye Advisory Committee and the Upper Red Lake Management Committee. He’s been active in opposing bans on lead fishing tackle. Duane’s support for selective harvest, the catch-and-release ethic, and clean water has been strong. His exemplary dedication to kid-fishing includes his 25-year activism with the ongoing Bemidji Area Take A Kid Fishing program and its nearly 5,000 kid-fishing trips.

Northland Fishing Tackle’s John Peterson affirms his brother Duane’s contribution to Minnesota fishing: “He’s a lure innovator, product promoter, and good-will ambassador for fishing. Duane is very well-connected to the world of fishing—the sport and the industry. He has taught people of all ages to fish successfully and, more importantly, to appreciate how the overall fishing experience can nurture relationships with family, friends, and nature—thereby enhancing one’s health and happiness for a lifetime.”