Like a lot of us, Shawano, Wisconsin’s Marianne Huskey was bitten by the fishing bug at an early age. Her passion for fishing, she says, “Started young, while fishing for perch on Lake Michigan with my grandfather.” Her desire to catch another and another became overwhelming, and so began her lifelong quest to become a professional angler.
Huskey reached her first goal by entering the professional ranks; and just this year, slid further up that flagpole of destiny by clinching a second place finish in an AIM Pro Walleye Series Pro Qualifier on Lake Superior off Brimley, Mich. That accomplishment alone was a milestone. At that moment, she then became the highest placing female finisher ever in a professional walleye tournament.
So when Huskey recently spooled her reels up for the final AIM Pro Qualifier on Lake of the Woods in Baudette, Minn., she was cognizant that the crown jewel of all titles, Angler of the Year, was within reach. And in perfect synchronicity with her hard-fought fairy tale season, Huskey ended the term with style and grace, and the Angler of the Year Title.
“It means so much to be the first woman to ever accomplish this,” said the Lund Boats pro about being the very first woman to win angler of the year in either a professional walleye or bass circuit. (Think about how many years, tournaments and tours that covers.)
“I hope this helps change the mindset for some women, giving them the confidence to take the boat out and fish on their own,” continued Huskey. “A lot of women just feel like ‘it’s not their place.’” Huskey’s historic feat proves nothing could be further from the truth, as she went up against the best walleye anglers in North America.
AIM Pro Walleye Series Sponsor Lund Boats provided a $10,000 prize for Angler of the Year, too. “We want to reward the anglers that choose to run a Lund Boat,” said Lund Boats’ Marketing Manager Tony Kolker. “But it’s especially rewarding when it’s for an AOY title, and even better when history is made at the same time. Congratulations, Marianne!”
And in fitting fashion, paying respect to her past, Huskey dedicated the Angler of the Year trophy to her Grandfather.