The Free Press, Mankato, MN


April 21, 2014

New guide service operator talks fishing

Travis “Bubba” Roberts recently made his official entry into a career Minnesota’s best-known naturalist Sigurd F. Olson described as more appealing than any other occupation on the face of the earth.

Olson, in his essay “Reflections of a Guide,” wrote about that blessed breed who share with others their knowledge of woods and rivers and their inhabitants.

“It’s been a dream of mine for many years and this year I decided to go for it,” Roberts said.

His new guide service, based in Madison Lake, will focus on fishing spots within a 30-mile radius. Roberts’ business objectives include teaching people how to figure out lakes and how to locate river walleyes and catfish.

In June, he will be showing clients how to catch muskies on Fox Lake near Sherburn.

“I’m not an expert, but I am good at a number of things.” Local fishermen have probably met Roberts at White’s Corner Bait — where he occasionally helps out — or talked to him about tackle when he was employed at The Bobber Shop in Mankato.

The North Mankato Taylor Library offered Roberts a chance during a class last week to demonstrate how to pick the proper lure and how to put a minnow on a hook. About a dozen people showed up for his free class.

“I like to fish and I want to try open fishing on a river,” Bryce Blaschko, 10, of Le Center said during the class.

River fishing is his favorite pastime, Roberts said during his hour-long talk. He had plenty of suggestions for Blaschko and others who share a love of fishing — from tackle-box essentials and how to pick the right rod and reel. He also answered questions throughout the session.

Think shallow was Roberts’ advice for getting bites this spring. Fish are staying close to shore where the water’s warmed enough for the vegetation to start growing.

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