Casey Felling- WWA Board Member, 2018
1.How old were you when you started fishing? On what Lake did you get started fishing?
I was 8 or 9 years old, my grandfather would take me up to Mille Lacs and Leach Lake during the summers I would spend in the Twin Cities with them.
2. Who was your first hero or mentor in the fishing world?
My grandfather, he taught me all the foundational techniques, how to appreciate the outdoors and my role as conservationist.
3. How did you get started tournament fishing? And what made you jump in?
I first started tournament fishing in College in Missoula, MT. There were club fly fishing tournaments often such as a One-Fly modeled after the famed Jackson Hole Tournament, though on a much smaller scale. I also got into kayak fishing tournaments here in Chicagoland which I would highly recommend if you don’t have a boat yet. These tournaments are very well run and are a fantastic stepping off point if you are interested in tournament fishing. Tournament fishing made me look at the body of water I was fishing differently and pushed me to improve in every facet. I recommend it to anyone with a competitive spirit and lust for the sport.
4. What is your bread and butter, go-to tactic on the water?
For walleye fishing, my favorite tactic is pitching jigs with light tackle.
5. Outside of competitive fishing, what do you do for your 9-5 job?
I am a partner in a specialty food importing business. We source and import rare, prized ingredients predominantly from Japan and sell to a network of distributors throughout North America who then get those ingredients in the hands of the top chefs. It is very satisfying career that never gets boring.
6. What accomplishments are you most proud of in the tournament world?
Honestly, re-connecting with my tournament partner. He and I went to pre-school together and were friends growing up and we lost touch after college. His passion for fishing and appreciation for the outdoors rivals my own and no tournament trophy can supplant that.
7. Other than the Fox Chain, what is your favorite body of water to fish and why?
Probably Lake Michigan. That body of water has improved so much over the years and remains a destination fishery.
8. Outside of fishing, what are your hobbies? What do you do for fun?
Waterfowl and Upland hunting in the fall, dog training/testing throughout the summer when not on the boat. Golf when I can fit that in and the never-ending projects around the house.
9. What is your favorite tournament moment?
A couple of years ago, we found a late bite during a very tough spring bite and managed to boat 5 keepers in the last 30 mins of legal time. My partner had packed everything up, started the motor and was turning the boat around to head in while I fired off one more cast and hooked up with a legal fish and boat flipped it while he put the hammer down. It was a great moment, we were high-fiving and laughing all the way to the launch.
10. How big was your best Walleye and what lake did you get it on?
28.5” on Pistakee Lake