At just 20 years old Pete Patsalis knew he wanted to make a living doing what he loved- fishing, but younger men can’t swing an $80,000 rig to start off. The Marine City, Michigan angler wanted a boat that would be reliable and affordable without skimping on the good stuff.
“I’m on my sixth year guiding primarily for walleye but also smallmouth and sturgeon,” he said. “Currently I own an Outlander 2010 CC and hope to add a Kodiak 200 to the fleet.”
Back then inventory wasn’t a problem so Patsalis had plenty of options to choose from.
“I decided to go with a PK because of the solid boats they build,” he said. “ When it was time to choose my boat for guiding, I looked at all the major aluminum boat brands and decided PK was the right choice. Very versatile and reliable which Is what I was looking for.”
Since then, Patsalis has expanded his passion, to owning a bait shop which was a challenging venture during Covid.
“The bait shop has been awesome but has been very challenging with the lack of inventory and delayed shipping times,” he said. “The good thing is I try and use a lot of local companies directly which has allowed me to keep stock on the shelves. We also work with some great distributors that keep us up to date and getting us product. It’s been a team effort for sure.”
Patsalis had a few tips for people shopping for a new rig.
“Ask questions and have an idea of what you want,” he said. “There are a lot of options out there and everyone has an opinion, so it’s easier to feel confident when you know what you want, and how you want to use it.”
While the guide has put a ton of time on the water and has many stories to tell, his most memorable trip was when he was consumer, not a Captain.
My most memorable guide trip wasn’t with me as the captain, but actually the client," he said. “It was out of Tampa, Florida, and it was me and some of my family going out for grouper and kingfish. It was an amazing experience and we caught tons of fish we took to a restaurant for dinner. It was that trip that started my true passion for not only fishing but the culture.”