FISHING: Born in the South, Dominating the North
Sep 15th, 2022 by Keith Worrall
Modified Sep 15th, 2022 at 2:15 PM
Fishing Phenom Tom Huynh Joins Northland Fishing Tackle Pro Staff
Multi-tournament NWT/AIM champion, Tom Huynh, already fishing with 2022-2023 Northland product and contributing design ideas for future, cutting-edge walleye baits.
BEMIDJI, Minn. (September 15, 2022) – Northland Fishing Tackle is extremely proud to announce that Moorhead, Minnesota-based NWT/AIM pro walleye angler Tom Huynh (accurately pronounced “Win”) is officially on the Northland Fishing Tackle Pro Staff.
Northland Fishing Tackle President/CEO, Gregg Wollner, remarks: “Tom Huynh has proven to be a ‘Game Changer’ in the competitive walleye fishing world. I am thrilled to offer him a product development and marketing platform to bring his techniques to life. I am beyond excited about our future together.”
Northland Fishing Tackle Marketing Director, Mike Anselmo, excitedly adds: “I couldn’t be happier to work with Tom. When it comes to the relationship between his tackle, electronics, boat positioning, and determining fish location, Tom’s ability to comprehend and understand the big picture is truly next level. Tom is very familiar with the Northland brand, but it’s the new product like our recently-introduced Short-Shank Tungsten Jigs, and other pieces in the product development funnel that really help pull the relationship together. We’re making jigs and tackle that are important to him. Tom is quickly changing the way people fish for walleyes, and Northland Fishing Tackle is moving fast and evolving right along with him.”
“We’re going to run hard together in an effort to bring the best new products to consumers, tell great, informative stories, and educate people on hot techniques—and put a bunch of fish in the boat along the way,” concludes Anselmo.
About Walleye Pro Tom Huynh
Hard to believe, but the first time Tom fished out a boat was a mere six years ago. “I bought a 17-foot Tracker aluminum boat and started fishing bass every chance I had to get away from owning and operating two nail salons. Competitive by nature, my goal from first stepping into the boat was to someday compete in national B.A.S.S. events,” says Huynh. “So I started fishing local bass tournaments and it wasn’t until one weekend at a campground that I befriended Nate Wolske, owner of Wolske RV near Longville, Minnesota, and jokingly asked him if he wanted to partner up with me to fish a walleye tournament on Leech Lake since there were no bass events that upcoming weekend. We both agreed why not… To our surprise, we ended up winning the tournament so we kept fishing walleyes competitively. That was only a couple years ago,” offers Huynh.
Fast-forward to September 2022, and Tom and Nate have countless top AIM and NWT finishes under their belts. In 2021 they placed second at the 2021 NWT Championship on Otter Tail Lake. The same year—on the AIM circuit—Tom and Nate won the AIM Championship on Lake Miltona and Team of the Year. This year they placed first at the AIM event on the Mississippi River in Red Wing; 4th place on Mille Lacs Lake; 2nd place on Leech Lake; 2nd Place on Vermillion; and 1st Place at the recent AIM Championship in Duluth and Team of the Year. It should be noted that Tom and Nate are the first team in history to repeat First Place and Team of the Year at the AIM Championship in back-to-back years.
“I grew up poor in Arkansas, pretty much riding my bike along dirt roads and fishing local farm ponds. I didn’t have any video games. My dad, mom, and grandpa—they ran a small 100-acre cattle farm and when my grandpa wasn’t working, he took me fishing for panfish and bass. I was intrigued with fishing from the very start,” says Huynh.
Fishing when he could from shore as a kid and teenager, Tom eventually accepted a college scholarship in computer information systems at Moorhead State University in 1999. Graduating with honors, he started working part-time at a nail salon while looking for jobs in IT, only to take over the nail business—and later, open up a second shop.
“I upgraded my boat and electronics slowly and when COVID hit, my businesses were completely shut down so I fished the lakes between nearby Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and Walker, Minnesota, really hard, learning everything I could primarily about bass behavior. I had never walleye fished prior to meeting Nate and entering that first tournament. All of my successes have been due to the time I spent fishing bass—and really, walleyes and bass aren’t that much different. It’s the same deal—you have to figure out their location and what they’re willing to bite. It wasn’t that hard to switch species, although I knew nothing about classic walleye presentations. I still don’t troll unless I absolutely have to, preferring to pitch to all my fish. And it’s worked. I’ve won numerous tournaments using tactics that are completely off-the-radar with other walleye anglers. Like pitching docks on Lake Miltona or Texas-rigging a craw at Red Wing. I just fish the way I do—and I’m not scared to pull out bass techniques or continually modify how I approach catching the big walleyes it takes to win amongst all of these awesome walleye anglers fishing NWT and AIM tournaments,” remarks Huynh.
Huynh Talks Northland Fishing Tackle
“Working with Northland Fishing Tackle is a great fit. They’re legendary. Currently, I’ve been fishing the 1/8th-ounce Northland Short-Shank Tungsten Jig and it’s perfect for what I do. The narrow, aspirin-shaped head cuts through the water great and falls in a really unique fish-catching way; the shape of the hook is perfect and the hook shank is right on. It’s also really sharp for solid hooksets on far casts in deeper water, even though I’m fishing a lighter jig. Not to divulge too much, but Northland also has some jigs coming out soon that are geared exactly toward what I’ve been envisioning. I look forward to contributing to bait design where I can,” notes Huynh.
Huynh concludes: “I’m also looking forward to the relationship to provide content for them and their loyal customers based on what I do on the water—which is different than how most walleye anglers fish. I’ll be utilizing their line of jigs and soft plastics and it’s going to make me a better angler, too, to work with a company that has the bandwidth to modify presentations to the way I like to fish. All things said, I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with Northland and proud to represent their brand moving forward.”