Youngster designs muskie lure
Named Pro Staffer at age 6
His broad smile tells it all. Adyn Minzey has a passion for the outdoors. He loves to fish. He loves everything about fishing, and it shows.
At the young age of 6, Minzey already has a muskie lure he designed become a reality and has been named a Junior Pro Staffer, the first and only one, by Phantom Lures. His colorful creation was done with crayons on ordinary tablet paper. Minzey calls his lure the “Viking Bumblebee,” a purple and gold striped bait in the colors of his favorite National Football League team. It has an orange splash down the side for added attraction and an enticing swirltail in Viking gold.
Minzey’s stepfather, Kellen Latendresse of Minot, introduced the youngster to fishing and now can’t keep him out of the boat. When not on the water Minzey is often thinking about fishing. He designed the Viking Bumblebee last winter. Latendresse, an avid user and promoter of Phantom Lures, shared the drawings with the company. A few months later a real Viking Bumblebee lure showed up in the mail.
“I was going through the grind of filling orders and picked up that drawing,” said Jeff Shulte, Phantom Lures. “I thought, what the heck, it’s a pretty easy pattern and I could kind of surprise him. I wish I could do it for every kid but that’s just not the case.”
It was in Minzey’s case though. Shulte personally painted the proto-type. The lure is based on Phantom’s soft-tail that is a proven winner with muskie fishermen. When the lure arrived in the mail it was accompanied by a letter naming Minzey the company’s first Junior Pro Staffer.
“I knew it would make his day and thought he would get a kick out of that,” said Shulte. “To see success at a young age, that’s what we love. It kind of recharges the batteries.”
“I was really excited for Adyn,” said Latendresse. “He has a passion for the outdoors. It was nice for a business owner like Jeff to take the time out of his day to make a child’s day, to take that much interest in a six year old.”
Latendresse said he was blessed to have a father that got him involved in the outdoors. Now he’s passing that opportunity on to Adyn.
“I think it’s really rewarding in today’s world when a kid can find a passion in the outdoors,” said Latendresse. “To me, it’s fun to see his passion grow.”
Shulte, a father of a young son, said he has become so busy with his work that he sometimes forgets how he got to where he is today. Seeing Minzey’s drawings reminded him of when he was a young fisherman.
“I was making top-water baits out of broom handles. I didn’t know what I was doing but I put hooks in it and did it for fun,” recalled Shulte. “When your passion becomes your work it is hard to find that balance at times.”
Shulte credited Latendresse for teaching Minzey the right way to do things in regard to the outdoors. Things like conservation, the environment and respect for the resource.
Minzey has yet to catch a muskie on his Viking Bumblebee but that day will come if he dares flip the lure into the water. He might. Despite his small size, he is getting more and more proficient at handling a fishing rod.
“He is embracing a state that has some of the best outdoor opportunities around,” remarked Latendresse. “When you fish with a child every fish is a trophy. It’s pretty cool.”
Designing your own lure and having it manufactured is pretty cool too. So is being named Junior Pro Staffer at age 6.
(Prairie Profile is a weekly feature profiling interesting people in our region. We welcome suggestions from our readers. Call Editor Mike Sasser at 857-1959 or Regional Editor Eloise Ogden at 857-1944. Either can be reached at 1-800-735-3229. You also can send e-mail suggestions to msasser@minotdaily