I know Bobby Orr is a famous Hockey player but the Bobby Orr you are about to meet is a well-known Wisconsin Musky fisherman and guide. The Bobby Orr that I had the pleasure to meet is a young man that has been pursuing the great Esox Masquinongy, or Musky, for most of his life. I had the pleasure to go fishing with Bobby and witness first hand his knowledge and willingness to teach others the sport.
Bobby has been guiding for muskies for over 10 years now on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage, or TFF, as well as the Manitowish chain of lakes. These bodies of water are located up in Iron and Vilas counties of Wisconsin and are two incredible bodies of water. Not only in their size but also in their diverse fisheries.
During our trip we focused on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage and launched out of The Hideaway resort. Bobby resides in Madison for part of the year, but most of his time is spent in his cabin in Mercer at The Hideaway. The Hideaway resort is nestled on the shores of the TFF and offers visitors a relaxing and enjoyable getaway.
When he isn’t fishing Tournaments or guiding, Bobby is working with tournament directors and advisors to get them to come to Mercer and fish the great fisheries in the area. Bobby works closely with the directors to facilitate the process of getting an event to be held in the Mercer area. Working closely with the Chamber or Commerce and the DNR, Bobby puts forth a great effort to introduce these events into the area.
By trade Bobby owns his own flooring business, but because he owns the business it allows him more time to be out on the water with clients or in Tournaments. To say that Bobby is a hard worker is an understatement. He devotes his time to his craft and it shows in his success rate with clients as well as in the tournaments he fishes.
Hiring a guide can be a daunting task as there is always the question if they are good enough, or have the right equipment. There was no question upon shaking Bobby’s hand first thing in the morning that our day to be on the water was going to be an information filled adventure. He exuded confidence and knowledge in the quarry we were after. He thrilled us with story after story of caught and lost fish and kept us glued to our seats with his tips and hints on how to catch these elusive fish.
There is a lot to be said for a guide who provides his guests with top-notch gear and baits. The moment Bobby opened up the hatch of his rod locker; I knew that I had made the right choice. Abu-Garcia Revo reels balanced off his 8’6” rods perfectly. They made chucking heavy lures as easy as throwing a small spinnerbait for bass. His selection of baits was comparable to that of your local tackle shop.
This trip I was joined by Lisa Heberling from the Mercer Chamber of Commerce. Lisa is an avid outdoorswomen and a resident of Mercer. This was to be her first Musky trip and the idea of throwing big 10oz baits was something new to her. It was a pleasure to watch as Bobby went over the fine points of how the reel operates, what the bait action is supposed to look like in the water, and proper casting techniques. He took his time covering the basics and then put on a full casting lesson for Lisa. It was an impressive gesture because of his knowledge and Lisa’s quick learning she was soon casting like a pro.
The day we chose was not the most prime of days, with 20-30mph winds out of the North to Northwest we were limited to our spots, however, Bobby made every effort to find fish for us. It just wasn’t about finding fish, but he took the time to explain every spot that we hit. He covered the where, why, and when of these spots and would also inform us of other species that may be present in these areas for future opportunities to fish the area.
His knowledge of the area was outstanding. We would drift over a bar and within 5 feet of a piece of structure; Bobby would point and tell us “there is a crib over there” or “there is a big boulder on that point”. Not only would he talk about the how the structure was made, but he also explained why the muskies would be holding on the structure and what our bait and retrieve choices should be.
During this cold and windy morning, Lisa and I beat the water to a froth cast after cast without a fish even making a quick cameo. Still our spirits remained high, as it wasn’t everyday you get to be on the water with someone who knows the area like Bobby does. To say it is his backyard would be the best way to describe it.
With all his knowledge and his enthusiasm for the sport of Musky fishing, Bobby Orr is one of those guides in the Northwoods that I would highly recommend looking up the next time you are up in Northern Wisconsin. If you want to learn new water, new techniques, and catch some big Muskies, then get in touch with Mr. Orr. You will not be disappointed.
You can get in touch with Bobby via his website at http://www.orrsoutdoors.weebly.com/ or get in touch with Tina at the Mercer Chamber of Commerce at www.mercercc.com.