MHM: Guiding full-time and running a resort ... I’m sure people tell you you’re “living the dream.”
RM: I hear it a lot from people that it “must be awesome that you get to go fishing every day. Must be nice.” It’s everybody’s dream. But people come up here in the summer when it’s busy and they think they can move here and just go fishing, and hire people to run their business, and they’re gone in six to nine months. If you own a business up here and want to stay in business, you do a lot of the work yourself. I’ve watched a lot of people’s dreams come and go.
MHM: You work as hard as anybody I know. Tell us about a typical day during peak tourist season.
RM: We go seven days a week. There are no weekdays and weekends. A typical day in the summer, I get up between 4:30 and 5, and go through any emails as I’m waking up, drinking massive amounts of coffee. I pick up my [clients] between 6:30 and 7. Fish all day, get home somewhere between 4 and 4:30, straighten the boat up for the next day and maybe make equipment changes if we’re fishing for something else the next day, shower, then go to the restaurant for the dinner rush. Hopefully I get to leave by 8 or 8:30 provided I don’t have somebody at the bar wanting to tell me how awesome my life is.
MHM: How does musky fishing today in the region compare to when you started guiding?
RM: I think fishing is as good as it’s ever been population-wise, but we probably have had a 300 to 500 percent increase in musky anglers in Vilas and Oneida counties since I caught my first musky at age 12. Back in the early 1980s there were a handful of hardcore musky anglers fishing, and a handful of very knowledgeable guides. They caught a lot of big fish because they didn’t have the competition.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
What can Current Do For You?
WATER FLOW IN LAKES IS SUBTLE AND OFTEN OVERLOOKED. BUT MUSKIES USE IT, SO WHY SHOULDN’T YOU?
Mountain State Muskies In Spring
CATCH MUSKIES DURING TIMES WHEN NOTHING IS PREDICTABLE
Winter Presentations For Southern Rivers
Winter has arrived, yet in the South it’s still mild enough to keep fishing with the exception of maybe a week or two of an Arctic front.
Tune Up For The Season Ahead
Have you started making your plans for the upcoming fishing year?
Guide Rob Manthei’s love for the Vilas/Oneida County region of northern Wisconsin is deeply rooted. His father and grandfather started taking him there on fishing trips when he was just two years old, and he began guiding full-time at the age of 25.
Find The Right Structure In Deep, Clear Water
With breathtaking scenery, vast amounts of water, and complex and diverse structure, clear water Canadian Shield lakes offer some of the most sought-after musky fishing in the world. A bucket-list destination for the passionate and determined angler, there’s something truly special about being in the sanctuary of the great Canadian Shield lakes.
Multi-Species Or Bay Boat ... You Make The Choice
Is there really such a thing as a perfect musky boat? There are so many variables to choose from in the market today. Do I want a casting or trolling boat? Aluminum or fiberglass? Welded or riveted? Do I want a tiller, side console, dual console, or full windshield?
Region To Region
Region To Region
Genetic Study Yields Answers
STUDY SUGGESTS LEECH STRAIN IS NOT THE ‘SILVER BULLET’ FOR WISCONSIN MUSKY WATERS
Crawling Crankbaits To Catch Cold Water Muskies
Crankbaits catch plenty of muskies during spring, summer and fall, but the key to catching ’skies in the very early cold water season on these lures involves some special tricks.