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.

John Peterson

John Peterson

Inducted 2000

John Peterson was born in Bemidji, Minnesota on February 6, 1949. He grew up on the banks of the Mississippi river and spent many of his childhood days digging worms, seining minnows and fishing off the banks and bridges for anything that would pull his bobber down. His mother Alice knew the value of taking a kid fishing and often brought John and the family to a favorite dock on Sunday afternoons to catch sunfish, rock bass, perch and bullheads. It was fun, exciting and John was hooked on fishing for life.

The Peterson family got their own boat in the early 1960s and John’s brother, Duane, took him fishing every weekend during the summer and taught him not only how to fish, but also the values of the great outdoors and natural resources we have in our own back yard.

John and Duane had the fishing bug bad. They would fish night and day, rain or shine and walk miles through deep snow and ice to reach their fishhouse during the winter months. The thrill of watching and catching perch, walleye and northern pike through the ice enhanced John’s desire to learn more about the species and what triggered them to bite.

John won numerous prizes at fishing derbys in the early seventies and soon began to guide and fish competitively around the upper midwest for bass, walleye and musky. Today, John Peterson is known as one of Minnesota’s most versatile, competitive and successful multi-species tournament anglers.

In 1975, John started pouring jigs and tying tackle for his tournament fishing and guiding business in a small remote cabin near Bemidji, Minnesota. The lures were innovative, made with high-quality components and, most importantly, were catching fish when no other baits were working. The word spread like wild fire and the phone started ringing. Northland Fishing Tackle brand was in hot demand.

Since then, John and the Northland Pro-Staff have designed, tested and perfected an exclusive line of products that catch fish like no other brand on the market today. Manufactured in the heart of Minnesota’s finest fishing waters, Northland is one of the country’s leading producers of premium quality jigs, live bait rigs, spinnerbaits and spoons for panfish, perch, walleye, bass, trout, northern pike and musky. John acknowledges and credits his success to Minnesota’s great fishing resource, the teachings of In-Fisherman, his family, friends, promotional staff and employees who have provided the feedback, support and encouragement that has allowed him to make fishing his career.

John is highly committed to Selective Harvest, Catch & Release and the preservation of water quality. He has been a leader in helping to teach our youth the values of sport fishing and exposing them to our great natural resources.

John Peterson’s accomplishments include:

  • Founder, President and CEO of Northland Fishing Tackle®.
  • Author of the NORTHLAND FISHERMAN™ “Secrets to Fishing Success” booklet.
  • Founder of the legendary 225 man Team Northland® Pro Staff.
  • Featured guest on over 35 televised fishing shows.
  • Contributor to over 900 Take-A-Kid Fishing and non-profit sport fishing events.
  • Has fished over 170 Walleye, Bass and Muskie Tournaments.
  • Recipient of the 1999 Professional Walleye Trail™ Sportsman of the Year Award.
  • Charter Member of the NPAA National Professional Angler Association.
  • Served on Board of Directors for NPAA National Professional Angler Association.