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.

Terry Tuma

Terry Tuma

Inducted 2017

Born in 1942 in Northfield, Minn., Terry Tuma was destined to be one of the most prolific outdoor communicators the Upper Midwest has ever known. At age 4, Tuma began joining his parents for outings on nearby lakes, sometimes when the water was open and just as often when the water was frozen. Tuma likes to share with audiences the story of his father using an ice spud to create fishing holes. He would start with a 3-foot square on the top of the ice and end up with a 6-inch hole on the bottom.

Raised on a farm, Tuma graduated from Northfield High in 1960, joined the Army during the Berlin Crisis, and when he returned home, he decided to get involved in outdoors communications related to fishing. Fortunately for Tuma, his new job at a car dealership allowed him some flexibility and he began offering seminars and calling into segments on local radio stations.

More than 40 years ago, Tuma took a pro-staff position with a fishing tackle manufacturer and began doing seminars and radio. Twenty-seven years ago, he decided to take his part-time program and turn it into a full-time career and he went to work for Glenn Meyer at Outdoor News.

In Tuma’s early days there was no model for those pursuing an occupation as an outdoor communicator. Individuals like Ron Lindner, Gary Roach and Terry Tuma eventually set the standard that defines this line of work. In one of his early seminars for Larry’s Live Bait in St. Paul, Tuma shared the stage with Ron Lindner, and they used a flip-chart to illustrate their message.

Tuma’s program progressed to a slide projector to project images on a screen. The presentations became a bit more complicated with overhead projectors and now computers with video and animation. What Tuma has discovered is that over the years anglers who attended his seminars appreciated the clean, informative presentation, and all they really wanted was the information to be understandable, easy to grasp, and specific. Today, according to Tuma, we’re seeing a shift in how anglers get their information, yet there are anglers who still enjoy getting out and attending seminars and in-store promotions, And especially if you have a good presentation, you can still draw a crowd. Tuma has proven this even today. At the ice fishing show Tuma draws crowds of more than 200 anglers. This year he filled Minneapolis and Milwaukee sportshows seminar auditoriums. Over the 40-plus years Tuma has conducted seminars he conservatively estimates he has done more than 4,000 presentations.

Tuma has never limited his outdoor communications program to just seminars. He has been on the forefront of radio and today participates in segments for over 40 affiliates including Outdoor News Radio and FAN Outdoors. At least two of his current affiliates have been with him for his entire career; that’s over 40 years.

Tuma has been featured on many television shows and currently can be seen regularly on Minnesota Bound and Due North Outdoors.

Print media has also been a staple of Tuma’s program. For the past 25 years he has been part of Outdoor News, and he has published a weekly tip. Tuma has also been featured in many major publications including In-Fisherman and North American Fisherman.

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but that is not true of Tuma. He currently incorporates today’s new media options into his program by writing a regular blog on the Outdoor News website that is also linked to Facebook and a Twitter feed.

Asked if he’ll ever quit trying to educate anglers, Tuma replies he is having too much fun to slow down. He is still pulling more than 200 anglers to his ice fishing seminars at the St. Paul show and fills seminar auditoriums all over the Upper Midwest.

While Tuma may have decided early on that he would focus on the Upper Midwest and southern Canada, today’s unlimited range of web-based media and his frequent appearances on national television programs has projected his influence far beyond these boundaries. According to Tuma, there are still many anglers who want to learn and they will use every tool at their disposal to gain that information. It is his goal to provide those tools.

Tuma has been, and still is, a pioneer in outdoor communications. He has introduced programs that never existed until he brought them to the forefront. Tuma is indeed a great candidate for induction, and he fits the profile of someone who belongs in the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame.