Featured Angler Larry Dahlberg

Larry Dahlberg is the most successful BIG FISH fisherman that has ever lived.  Don’t believe that, just go to Youtube and search Larry Dahlberg.

You will get ten pages of videos with views ranging from a few thousand to over two million.  Just on Youtube Larry has reached and informed millions of viewers.

Larry is a local boy and began his fishing career on the St. Croix River.  Larry and Frankie have been friends for nearly 50 years.  I met Larry twenty years ago and had the pleasure of fishing smallmouth bass with Larry and Frankie on the St. Croix.

Larry’s love for fishing lead him on a journey that began as a fishing guide on the St. Croix, then to In Fisherman Magazine and television show.  From there Larry launched the Hunt For Big Fish that aired for 24 years.  He traveled to 87 countries to film the series.  Larry’s favorite species include muskie, tarpon, smallmouth bass, and Atlantic salmon.  Larry once caught a 400 pound  catfish.

Larry was inducted into the International Game Fishing Hall of Fame (IGFA) in 2017.  They produced a wonderful video about Larry’s career.

Larry then became interested in designing lures.  He created an entire line of fishing tackle including the Dahlberg Diver, the Wopper Plopper, Clackin Crayfish, the Wide Glide, Flashaboo material for fly making, and holds pattens for fishing rod designs.  Larry’s lures are distributed widely through the world.  Frankie carries all of them.  I was in a small bait shop in White Bear Lake and sure enough they carried the several versions of the Whopper Plopper.

Larry has a treasure trove of stories about the people and cultures he experienced through his travels.  I once bumped into Larry on a flight from Miami to Minneapolis.  He was coming home from an Amazon fishing adventure, and I was coming home from a publisher’s conference.  We waved at each other while boarding the plane and then almost by fate, we were seated next to each other.  Not only is Larry brilliant, he is a prankster.  Larry told me a story about how he put a rock with a small seam of gold in the riverbed and then helped his local guide find it.  Within hours there were hundreds of people panning for gold.

Larry has a wit and philosophy that always gets me thinking.  I love the way he classifies the stages of a fisherman:

  • I just want a bite
  • I want to catch my limit
  • I want to catch a big one
  • I want a big one the way I want to catch him.

This really hit home because with just did a seminar with John Hoyer on catching your walleye limit on opening day

I am working with my grandchildren to just get a bite.  I am still trying to catch a big one with my annual toiling on East Pike Lake.

As part of writing this article I watched a number of YouTube interviews with Larry.  I laughed out loud when the FHC Outdoors host asked Larry about how he set goals for his career and worked toward his success.  Larry casually responded that he never had a plan and he just did the next thing.  He explained it this way:  “If you don’t know where you are going.  Any road will take you there”.  How true it is. 

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