Aye, Aye Skipper! It’s a Win!

Category: article

 Apr 15th, 2014 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Apr 15th, 2014 at 12:00 AM

                                                                        Photo MWC

Not yet 30 years old, brothers Lorin and Justin Skipper won the Cabela’s MWC tournament out of Pierre, South Dakota last weekend. Who are these Dakota guys, and where did they learn to dial in big fish to win their first (ever) MWC event?

Lorin (28) and Justin (29) grew up with a passionate angler in the family, Great-Grandpa Larry Keppers from Brainerd, Minn. An inventor of sorts with fishing tackle, always looking for a little better way to get fish in the boat, Keppers loved the outdoors. He passed that excitement and enthusiasm on to two grandsons.

“The boys were always very interested in fishing all their lives,” said Keppers now 92 years old.” Keppers owned a grocery store and manufactured tackle in the back. He sold tackle in that store and through four or five wholesalers throughout the area. “I was always giving them tackle, of course, and they were curious.”

Lorin admits he may have dreamed big as a kid about the “what ifs” in tournament fishing, but it wasn’t until about six years ago that he and his brother really started to figure it out. “We fished our first local derby and came in second place,” said Lorin. “We’re good,” he thought. That was until they started fishing tournament pretty regularly, and didn’t finish quite as high. “We soon realized we weren’t so good after all.” It was much harder to get on fish at will then they realized.

“We just didn’t realize all that was involved,” said Justin. The two were always willing to try new things, though, and they met up with other passionate South Dakota fishermen who share their obsession at The Fishing Crew website.

“There were tons of super-serious anglers and a great bunch of guys in The Fishing Crew,” said Lorin. “They shared tips on how to be better. And let’s face it, when you lose a tournament, you feel like you want to get better.” The Skippers’ learning curve spiked during these competitions.

“Tournaments definitely brought us to another level,” added Justin. “The serious tournament fishermen we met who only had three days to find fish and deal with all the elements of wind and cold, those guys showed us how.”

Lorin is a welder from Belle Fouche, South Dakota. He’s married to Brittni and has a daughter age seven and a son almost two. Justin, from Wolsey, owns a carpentry-construction business in the Huron region. He specializes in siding, decks and remodel projects. A single dad, Justin has a seven-year-old son.

The pair started guiding three years ago on their home waters in South Dakota, however, guiding hasn’t been as profitable as tournament fishing. “We live in a small town and it is hard to find paying customers,” laughed Lorin. “Most of the guys we fish with just think of it as going fishing together.” Maybe an MWC win will help bring in some business. The two guys are, after all, competitive … and good. Please visit  their website here

“It was hard at first with competition between us,” said Lorin. “It’s a family pact now, though, to make us better. We’ve found a way to instill confidence in each other.” Both anglers bring different ideas to the team. “Instead of making it competitive with each other, we’ve figured out how to make it work and help us be a stronger team on the water.”

Sponsors for the Skipper team include Shimano, G. Loomis, PowerPro, Reef Runner, ReelBait Tackle, Fin-tech and Salmo Lures.

“The older generations in our lives instilled the basics for us,” said Lorin. “But the drive to be competitive was our own.” Hopefully, this is a stepping stone for the next level of success for two talented brothers.

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