Fishing guide, educator, and ambassador, Steve Everetts, inducted to Walleyes Unlimited Hall of Fame
In a sport with its share of egos – at least at its higher, more-visible levels – it’s always refreshing to see someone like Steve Everetts of Janesville, Wisconsin recognized for their quiet, deliberate, and selfless work on behalf of anglers. Everetts, 53, was honored by Walleyes Unlimited USA last Saturday, March 4, via induction to the Walleyes Unlimited Hall of Fame.
Everetts, a part-time fishing guide and St. Croix Rod ambassador for nearly 20 years now, says he found a love of fishing some 50 years ago, and that flame has done nothing but burn brighter every day since.
“From my earliest memories, all I ever wanted to do was fish, and the passion never got any less,” Everetts says. “I grew up watching the Lindners, Babe Winkelman, and Spence Petros on television. Hank Parker came later. Those guys were the closest thing I had to fishing mentors, even though I’d never met them. Later, when I started my guide service, I met people like Green Bay guide, Dale Stroschein, who taught me much about the business side of fishing and what it really means to be a professional. That education continued when I joined the NPAA, and was helpful in developing meaningful, longstanding relationships with people and companies within the industry like St. Croix Rod.”
After earning his U.S. Coast Guard license and guiding for a few years, Everetts began helping other anglers increase their knowledge by giving seminars at sport shows and other events. “I was invited to speak at a club meeting of Walleyes Unlimited USA about 13 years ago and was really impressed – not only by the work the not-for-profit organization did in the areas of angler recruitment and education, as well as conservation – but also by the character and knowledge of the people within the organization as well,” Everetts recalls. “I became a member and quickly got involved. I served on the board of directors for 11 years, was appointed a trustee, and also served as president. Looking back, I’ve met many wonderful people and skilled anglers through the club that have grown into great friendships. Because of these relationships, I’ve probably tripled by own fishing knowledge and skills.”
Founded in 1969, Walleyes Unlimited USA is recognized as one of the top multi-species fishing clubs in the country. Its regular meetings, special events, and programs focus on increasing its 300+ members’ angling abilities, promoting angler recruitment and retention, and supporting conservation. The club’s five decades of work on behalf of fish and anglers is so significant, the organization itself has been inducted to the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.
Everetts was inducted to the Walleyes Unlimited USA Hall of Fame at the conclusion of the organization’s annual awards banquet in Delavan, Wisconsin on Saturday, March 4. Predictably and appropriately, the honor happened at a time when Everetts was hard at work for the benefit of others. “I was totally consumed by the presentations I had made that evening and making sure all of the other awards went smoothly,” Everetts says. “So when Bob (Walleyes Unlimited USA president, Bob Clark) stepped back to the podium and made the announcement that there was one final award, I was confused and didn’t know what was happening. Even after the announcement was made, it didn’t immediately sink in.”
Indeed, the honor took a bit of time for Everetts to process. “It was a great surprise and an incredible honor to be recognized for all the work I’ve put into the club,” Everetts says simply.
“Steve has been on staff with St. Croix for a long time… longer that I’ve been with the company myself,” says St. Croix Vice President of Marketing, Jesse Simpkins. “His significant angling knowledge and abilities aside, Steve’s work ethic and humility are truly special and an ideal fit for our brand. The entire St. Croix family expresses our gratitude to Steve for his decades of work in helping other anglers enjoy more success, as well as our congratulations for this well-deserved honor.”
About St. Croix Rod
Headquartered in Park Falls, Wisconsin, St. Croix has been proudly producing the “Best Rods on Earth” for 75 years. Combining state-of-the-art manufacturing processes with skilled craftsmanship, St. Croix is the only major producer to still build rods entirely from design through manufacturing. The company remains family-owned and operates duplicate manufacturing facilities in Park Falls and Fresnillo, Mexico. With popular trademarked series such as Legend®, Legend Xtreme®, Avid®, Premier®, Imperial®, Triumph® and Mojo, St. Croix is revered by all types of anglers from around the world.