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Captain Jon Dahl


ptain Jon Dahl

  • 30 years charter fishing experience
  • U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain
  • Minnesota licensed guide
  • Member Duluth Charter Fishing Guides 
  • First Aid and CPR certified
  • Fully insured


I began fishing at an early age with my brother, Captain Peter, and our father, Don Dahl.  We often fished on the Knife, Split Rock, and Brule Rivers for steelhead and brown trout.  Lake trout were pretty much wiped out by excessive commercial harvest, the introduction of sea lamprey, (a parasitic eel that attaches itself to a fish and feeds on it’s body fluids) and rainbow smelt (which eat lake trout fry as they hatched from eggs laid on reefs).  This was also before the introduction of salmon. 

In the early 1960’s we began going to Cornucopia Wisconsin, on the south shore of Lake Superior, where the Wisconsin DNR began stocking lake trout several years earlier.  This is where we started to pioneer and develop some of the techniques still in use today, such as planer boards and down riggers.  My father got the idea for planer boards from our grandfather, Charles Dahl, who had used them in his native Norway, and the idea for down riggers from commercial fishermen’s "gurneys"  he had seen on the West Coast during WWII.  He made his first downrigger out of the front wheel from a tricycle in the mid-sixties.  Ten years later he had developed electric "riggers" using Ford windshield wiper motors and aluminum spools he cast and machined himself. 

In 1966 while fishing from the north pier of the Duluth ship canal, I caught the first Coho salmon in Minnesota waters (as far as anyone knew), and we began fishing more and more out of Duluth.  Fishing improved steadily with increased Minnesota and Wisconsin DNR stocking efforts, poisoning and trapping lamprey, the buy out of commercial gill-netters, and the depredation of smelt by increased numbers of game fish and smelt fishermen.  In 1976 Don and his brother, Captain Raymond Dahl, started “North Shore Charter Fishing” when they bought the "Happy Hooker".  It was the first charter fishing service in Duluth.  I gained a lot of experience acting as first mate on charters with my father and uncle, a lot of fun fishing, and fishing in derby’s and tournaments which we often won.   In 1986 after Don passed away, Peter and I got our captain’s licenses and started a partnership “Happy Hooker Fishing Charters”.  We not only fished the waters of western Lake Superior, but also guided the Lake Superior waters of Isle Royale National Park a month or two each season for 5 years.  In 1996 Peter purchased the ”Hooker Too”.  I kept the original “Happy Hooker”, refurbished, refitted, bought new fishing gear and electronics and in 1997 started "Adventure Sport Fishing”.  In 2004 I purchased the bigger and better "Happy Hooker" and once again updated the electronics and gear.  If you haven't been on her yet, you'll love her when you do.

I’ve always loved fishing and I think fishing enthusiasts are the nicest people.  I truly enjoy meeting and getting to know people by fishing with them.  I'm happy to show techniques and operation of the gear we use, and allow hands on rigging.  I get a thrill from helping people catch their first or biggest trout, salmon, or walleye.  Can you guess what I do when I go on vacation?  That’s right, I go fishing!  I've fished Lake Nipigon in Canada for trophy Brook Trout since I was ten, and fish inland now and then.  In 1995 I caught a 47 lb. King Salmon in Alaska.  In June 2006 I returned to Alaska with my wife Karen and daughter Angel and had a great time touring and fishing with my cousin Mark Dahl and Laura of Anchorage.  I still enjoy fishing the Big Lake for fun, and often take friends or family when I get a chance.  We sometimes take a vacation boat trip to Isle Royal or the Apostle Islands.  And I have a dream of cruising the whole shoreline of the Big Lake, but with gas prices, and 1.5 m.p.g. I don't know if it will ever happen.  I'm also a deer hunting fanatic, with both gun and bow, and occasionally duck hunt in North Dakota.


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©Adventure Sport Fishing | Captain Jon Dahl | 2920 Getchell Road | Duluth, MN 55810 | Phone: 218-624-2553