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I want you to catch fish and have a great time.



Est. 1995

Guiding is my full-time profession, passion, and craft.  I'm driven by a strong work ethic and I take pride in doing things the right way.  It's how I was raised, it's what the Marine Corps taught me, and it's the example I want to set for my family and the fishing community of Otter Tail County where I've guided over 8000 outings in the past 29 years. 


Family & Fishing

In order to produce consistently good fishing, I spend about 300 days on the water each year.  My kids pitch in too and I love having them by my side.  Catching fish is fun, but the best days on the water involve something more - the time spent together, waves splashing, the soft lake air, shore lunch - it's northern Minnesota at its finest and something I want everyone to experience.



Let's customize a trip to meet your exact needs.   I have connections all over Lakes Country and look forward to helping you craft the perfect adventure.


Here are the most common questions I've received over the years.  If you have any doubts, please feel free to contact me directly.

  • Are the fish biting?
    Finding fish and getting them to bite is what I do. We will catch fish!
  • What do you supply?
    Open Water: professional guide service, boat, bait, tackle, fishing gear, rain gear, and life jackets. Ice Fishing: professional guide service, heated fish house, drilled holes, plowed roads, and on-ice transportation if you would like. Ice conditions change frequently, please inquire.
  • What do I need to bring?
    Bring a valid fishing license for each angler, food & drinks, a camera, proper attire and... Open Water: sun screen, sun glasses, and rain gear (I have extra). Ice Fishing: tackle, electronics, and bait (also available on request).
  • What lakes do you fish?
    Lakes in Otter Tail County primarily, but I do venture into Douglas County as well. Where we fish depends on a number of factors including your location, the weather, and the type of fish we're targeting.
  • Do you provide lodging or have lodging recommendations?
    I do not provide lodging directly but have connections with many great places to stay. For help finding a spot that suits your needs and budget, please contact me directly.
  • What type of fish can we catch?
    It depends on what you'd like to catch, the season, and what's biting. Walleye is the most requested species but I have plenty of experience targeting black crappie, sunfish, northern pike, small and large mouth bass, muskie, and sturgeon. It's fairly common to catch multiple species in one outing.
  • Do you fish tournaments?
    No I commit 100% of my fishing time to guiding.
  • Can I ride along and not fish?
    Yes! It's all about being on the water together, sharing the experience.
  • Can I bring alcohol on our trip?
    Sure, just don't over do it.
  • How do we handle payment?
    I accept cash or check, thank you.
  • I have special needs, can we customize a trip?
    Absolutely! I want to provide the best experience possible. Please contact me with your ideas and let's make it happen.


I'm blessed to have the support of these companies whose products I use and recommend on a regular basis.


My first fishing memory was ice fishing with my dad.  He drove my uncle’s Barracuda to the middle of Lake Aaron in heavy snow and got stuck.  We never fished.  My brothers and I stood in deep snow watching my dad as he dug beneath the tires, probably by hand; I doubt there was a shovel in the Barracuda.  As a fishing kid and product of the 70’s and 80’s my parents had it easy.  They would simply drive us to a lake shore, culvert, or to the bank of the Mississippi—where we stood on crooked rocks, and beneath over-hanging branches—to fish.  It was prime 70’s and 80’s parenting. They would drive away never wondering if we would still be there when they returned.


All of that shore fishing was indoctrination; it was a fishing boot camp of sorts.  We learned how to not catch bushes, cat tails, or power lines, and we were pros at getting off rocks and snags. By the middle 80’s my dad had bought a nice Lund boat and we had entered a new era—boat fishing.  By the time we were in our teens, we were taking dad fishing in his boat.


In 1990 I gave fishing a rest and joined the Marine Corps infantry for 4 years.  By the time I had left Mogidishu Somalia in the fall of 93', I was ready to get back to MN.  I came home to MN in the spring of 94’ and soon applied to Bemidji State University to pursue a degree in Biology.  It seemed like a good fit because I loved fishing and hunting.  Two years later, I found I enjoyed the freedoms of writing more than I enjoyed studying biology.  I changed degrees and earned a BA in English.  In the meanwhile (1995), I had started Meister Guide Service to try and earn dollars to help pay for school.  I declared Ottertail Lake as my “home” lake and struck out to learn it as I waited for the phone to ring.  I waited and waited and waited.  Finally, I got my first guide trip—a single guy named Ed—who declared by the end of the trip that I was not fit to be a guide, “You call yourself a guide??” he’d rhetorically ask throughout the trip.  I learned a lot those first years; I ignored Ed’s declaration and stayed with it.  By the time I graduated from BSU, Meister Guide Service was in motion.  It was enough momentum for me to keep with it for just another year…..and another year, and so on.  Twenty nine years later, and after successfully completing nearly 8,000 guided trips while raising 4 kids, I’m still guiding and still married.


I’ve made guiding and fishing my life’s work and craft.  Over the years, I have become profoundly engaged with fish, the ecosystems in which they live, and in fishing itself.  My love of the sport of fishing is very personal and is rooted in nostalgia and sentimentality.  I find myself intensely caring for my guests for who have become a part of my greater family.  I try to impress into folks that fishing can still be wonderful and fulfilling despite declining fish populations and intrusive invasive species.   I rely on my own learned fishing instincts and hard work rather than on technologies and social media forums and chatrooms.  I love the mystery of fishing; in not knowing what lies 100 feet from my boat in every direction—it keeps me hopeful and pushing forward.

Old Time Fishing Flyer

Meister Guide Service advertisement circa 1998

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