While in Mobridge

Category: Tournament

 Aug 27th, 2014 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Aug 27th, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Wade While grew up in North Dakota, but after Junior College in Bismarck studying Power Plant Technology (and working as a meat cutter and construction/handyman while in school), he moved to Mobridge, South Dakota. Driving highway 12 into Mobridge for the first time in 1988, as Wade passed Tower Hill and saw the beautiful Missouri River ahead, he knew he would settle there forever. Recently, Wade While won the pro-angler side of the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour (NWT) tournament on Oahe.

Today While owns his own business, Wade’s Carpet & Wholesale, providing cabinets, counter tops, flooring and finish carpentry work. That came after years as the Meat Department Manager and eight years with the United States Postal Service. “Everyone thought I was crazy when I left the Post Office,” said While. He worked three split shifts six days a week, though, not the typical eight-hour, five-day-a-week job. “I had no free time so I quit. That’s when I started working flooring and it grew into a nice business. I watched a lot of Bob Villa television, I guess.” Wade’s wife Jenny is the bookkeeper in the business.

“I love Mobridge, the people are great and the fishing is so good,” said While. “It is beautiful here, especially this year with all the rain we’ve had and how green everything is.”

While had to get past a very talented walleye pro to win the Mobridge NWT tournament-Dan Stier, who ended up in second place.  “I know him,” said While of Stier. “That guy can pull fish out of nowhere, places you’d never think of.” While heard someone moved into Stier’s spot on the second day, however, it was not him. “I didn’t burn a quarter-tank of gas the whole tournament,” continued Wade. “I was in Oak Creek the whole time.”

Wade’s dad always took the kids fishing growing up; the ice shack on Audubon and summer days on Sakakawea provided fond memories. “I read every magazine growing up and my dream was always to be a professional fisherman.” Wade’s emotions ran high last week when professional anglers right and left congratulated him on his win. The emotional high fulfilled that dream of long ago.

Wade and Jenny While have had their own share of heartache. They lost their daughter, Laisha, in a car accident when she was 16 years old. “She was babysitting for a family member and hit a soft shoulder and roller her car,” said Wade quietly when asked about his family. “She wasn’t wearing her seat belt.” Younger daughter, Lexy, recently graduated from high school and is working at, and attending, Sitting Bull College.

Fond memories of past tournaments and the people Wade has met are all part of why he enjoys tournament fishing. He doesn’t usually travel far, and he only picks tournaments as they came to his part of South Dakota. “I had a co-angler in a PWT tournament in 2008 who became one of my best friends,” said Wade. “He’s from Honey Creek, Iowa and we just got along great. Still do to this day.”

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