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Fishing Runs In The Family

Door County is world renowned for its summer activities, like biking in one of our five state parks or kayaking the rocky shores of the peninsula. There are, however numerous winter activities that take place across the county -- snowshoeing and cross country skiing to name a couple. But the one activity that I enjoy the most is ice fishing.

As a professional ice fishing guide with a rich family history of commercial fishing in these waters it was bound to happen. Nearly a century ago my great grandfather Emmel Nelson decided to start a commercial fishing operation in Sturgeon Bay to provide for his family. He purchased his very own fish tug called the J.B. Nelson. The main target in those days was the Lake Whitefish. As the commercial fishing industry began to slowly die off in the 1980‘s the family decided to move the J.B. Nelson to its present location in Sheboygan.

The reason for a slowdown in fishing was because the ecosystem in Lake Michigan was changing. Many of the Whitefish that were in Lake Michigan began to migrate into Green Bay because of an abundant food supply. I saw this as an opportunity to share my passion of fishing with others. Although I am not commercially fishing whitefish, I am fishing  the same waters and the same fish as my great grandfather did nearly 100 years ago, continuing to keep the tradition alive!

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