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Eric Haataja

Get to know Eric

Capt. Eric Haataja is one of North America's best multispecies fishing guides. He has made a living as a full time fishing guide for over 20 years, taking clients on trips 365 days a year. Eric is also a Bass tournament angler, seminar speaker, fishing educator, television show host, plus has over 50 million views on his YouTube page.


Was fishing and time on the water part of your childhood?

I grew up one block away from Lake Michigan in Racine, WI. My dad and grandparents got me started in fishing at an early age.


Describe your 'perfect' day on the water.

Perfect is anytime I get to spend time on the water with my family, or friends catching some incredible fish and then cooking up what we catch. I also enjoy taking my girls snorkling and swimming.


Describe the best day of fishing you've ever had.

The best day of fishing I've ever had was with my son on the ocean catching our first big sharks and tarpon - It all started with pulling my Alumacraft 1100 miles.


When you were growing up, who were the 'fishing heroes' and the people who inspired you?

I was never told by anyone that I could make a living and support my family in the fishing industry as a professional guide. My mother and grandfather inspired me the most because of what they went through in their lives. The guys I looked up to in the fishing industry were people like Spence Petros and Aaron Martins.


Describe the moment when you knew that fishing was more than a hobby, but rather a way of life.

I knew fishing was a true way of life on the day that we fished our first local bass derby. People often say to me that I have "The Dream Job" and they are 100% correct - I do!


When you've had a successful day of fishing on the water, tell us how you celebrate after?

I absolutely love to cook fish many different ways for my family and friends, it is actually one of the things I enjoy doing the most!


When you think about the future of fishing, what would you like to influence the most?

The future of fishing is headed in the right direction. A goal of mine is to pass on the information I have acquried as a guide here in Milwaukee and help the inner city youth that have never had a chance to experience fishing. I would like to teach these kids the art of fishing, provide them with gear and tackle, and show them first hand that water can be your escape and peace when you need it most.


If you could go fishing with any celebrity, who would it be?

I would love to fish with Adam Sandler.


What's your favorite memory with Alumacraft?

Fishing and camping with my family on a remote island in Michigan.


In prime fishing season, how many hours do you spend on the water?

Peak season for me is Salmon Season our days start at 3:30 AM and we finish at 10:00 PM 7 days a week.


What advice would you have for someone who is just starting to discover the passion of fishing?

Spend as much time on the water as possible.