I asked Rich what makes the Wisconsin Musky Expo in Wausau
any better than the other shows.
"In a word, ‘traditionalism’. Musky fishing has never
had the following that Bass fishing has enjoyed and, as a
consequence, Musky lure manufacturing has always been a ‘cottage
industry’. Somewhere along the way in pursuit of the bottom
line, the mass produced Musky lures from large retailers
replaced the availability of high quality lures being made in
limited quantities by dedicated Musky anglers. It was in my mind
to change that dynamic when I established the Wisconsin Musky
Expo in Wausau. The 2012 Expo was a great success with not only
local Northern Wisconsin Retailers but also the small Musky lure
manufacturers that have been a traditional source of innovation
for our sport."
I asked Rich why these smaller manufacturers are not
better represented at the other Musky shows.
"That is simple…the high cost of show participation. The
other shows charge upwards of $650.00 for a standard booth
space. The small manufacturer cannot afford that type of initial
costs and offset the costs of travel, lodging, meals and product
display. Add to that the overwhelming impact placed upon them by
competition from the larger retailers and it is easy to see why
choice in lure innovation is sort of extinct at the other Musky
I told Rich that I could see his point but then, aren’t
there better opportunities for Musky anglers to get Musky
information from seminar speakers at the other shows?
"Well, I am probably going to get some flak for this but here
is my perspective. The other shows seem to have the same list of
speakers year after year with the same presentations in an
attempt to encourage folks to buy their stuff rather than to
impart tips that will actually help them be successful on the
water. Some of the best seminar presenters, like Tony Rizzo,
John Dettloff and Bob Mehsikomer, are conspicuously absent from
the other shows. You see the same faces with the same
presentations at the Chicago, Milwaukee, Michigan, and
Minneapolis shows. My Wausau show has presentations by
accomplished Musky anglers who you will not hear at the other
Musky shows. These seminar guests provide the serious Musky
angler with what he really needs; solid first hand information
that can lead to success on the water.
I asked Rich why he chose Wausau for the sight of his
"The concept behind the Wisconsin Musky Expo is rooted in the
belief that Musky anglers in the fertile waters of Northern
Wisconsin should not have to drive to Milwaukee, Chicago or
Minneapolis to see new lures and have access to Musky services
and resorts. I also wanted the Expo to be friendly to the ‘cottage
industry’ of small lure manufacturers; the place where most
lure innovations over the past 50 years have been hatched.
addition, I also wanted the Expo to be a great family Musky
outing rather than the madhouse atmosphere you find at the other
shows. The 2012 show achieved that goal and the 2013 show is
shaping up to be ‘heads and tails’ above last year. We
have free Musky lures for the first 200 people attending on
Friday and 100 free rods for children under the age of 12 on Sunday."