Jim Ernster

Guide Jim ErnsterAs a passionate fisherman, Jim feels fortunate to be able to spend his summers as a walleye fishing guide.

A husband, father, teacher and coach the other 9 months of the year, Jim has an abundance of patience and knowledge to share with individuals, families young or perhaps a corporate fishing trip.  Growing up in the Brainerd Lakes, fishing smaller lakes such as Serpent and Black Hoof Lake, Jim has ventured to bigger waters and now serves as a Whitefish Chain fishing guide and a Gull Lake Chain fishing guide. Coaching and Teaching with LOA owner, Toby Kvalevog, Jim was able to learn from one of the best and turn that passion into a more professional approach to be a professional fishing guide.  Breaking down lakes, such as the Gull Lake Chain or Whitefish Chain, figuring out bites, and teaching others how to fish are keys to a good day on the water.  With Jim, you can expect that and great conversations.

Jim was a co-angler with the FLW fishing such lakes Devils lake, Cass Lake, Leech Lake and Pools 3 and 4 on the Mississippi river.  Fishing such a variety of lakes exposed Jim to an array of techniques that he consistently utilizes to put his clients on the fish.  Being a teacher and a coach Jim has a passion and tremendous patience for teaching others how to fish.  Jim is also helping publish the Leisure Outdoor Adventures newsletter and writing articles for the LOA team.

Jim’s passion and dedication to fishing will ensure you of a quality time on the water.

Favorite Fishing Memory

I was in 4th or 5th grade, fishing with my cousin Krista at Black Hoof Lake the first part of June. We were fishing from shore, using leeches and bobbers. Bass had moved in to spawn, not that I knew that then, but we had an epic day of bass fishing! Our tactics were simple, roll a leech in the dirt (fyi they don’t wiggle as much covered in dirt) hook it to a Prescott Rig and chuck it in front of the calvert. Landing those fish, sans a net, involved walking backwards while one of use was standing on the rocks trying to grab it as soon as we could! What a day! We ended up keeping about 6 to share with the family. Sorry, I was not versed in catch and release all the way. Lacking a stringer, we had to figure out a way to transport them back home since we had ridden our bikes down to fish. In true northern Minnesota fashion, we bartered for a ride home with a group fishing near us. In exchange for the rest of our leeches, aka secret bait, they gave us a ride back home for the fish fry!

Favorite Guide Story

Captain Olson with the Olson ladies

Captain Jim Ernster with the Olson ladies.

While it is always a pleasure, as a walleye fishing guide, there are some groups that do stick out from others. I took the Olson women, Mom Sherrie and 3 sisters (Breann, Ashley and Emily) out fishing on Leech Lake in the summer of 2016. The plan was to teach them a few techniques that they could use over the next few days while enjoying their stay on Leech Lake. We started out lindy rigging crawlers in some deeper water in Walker Bay. The ladies caught on quickly and pretty soon we had 3 in the boat. We kept at it, missing a few, catching a few more that had to go back. We switched over to slip bobbers as the sun was approaching the trees and the fishing quickly turning into a competition! Bobbers were going down immediately, a fish was caught, fish were missed. The sisters were both cheering when a fish was caught and when there was a swing and a miss. The sun was setting, wine was being drank, fun was being had and learning was going on. Just a great night with great people!

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