Volume 11, Issue 5 - September/October 2009

life beyond the auto glass business


Catch and Release

Rick Rosar, Owner, Rapid Glass in Minneapolis

Catch and release—it sounds simple, right? And often it might be. But when you’re catching fish that are upwards of 150 pounds, it’s a bit more of a challenge.

But that doesn’t stop Rick Rosar, owner of Rapid Glass in Minneapolis, Minn., from adhering to the catch-and-release practice as he fishes—both for fun and sport—throughout the year.

Rosar quips that he has been fishing for 46 of his 47 years.

“My mom has told me stories about times she had me bundled up on a fishing boat when I was less than a year old,” he says.

Today, he fishes for “pretty much everything that swims,” though the Minnesota native prefers musky—a popular species in Minnesota. Rosar describes the State as a “premier musky fishery.”

The musky season is somewhat short, though—from the middle of June until the ice freezes in November. Some might then put away their fishing rods for the winter, but not Rosar.

“In the winter, we fish for crappie and bluegill through the ice,” he says. “We also fish for walleye through the ice, along with northern pike and catfish.”

He’s fished in temperatures as low as 20 degrees below.

A true angler, Rosar is fortunate to live in the land of a 10,000 lakes, but also is fortunate to live approximately 20 minutes from the Mississippi, which recently opened him and his fishing partners to a new world.

“We started fishing in the Mississippi recently and it’s a whole new thing,” he says. “It adds another element to the challenge.”

His favorite spot, though, is Lake Vermilion in St. Louis County, Minn.

“It has the appearance of the Canadian Shield, but you’re still in Minnesota,” he says. “It borders the boundary waters canoe area … It’s excellent fishing, but it’s also beautiful, especially in November when the waves are splashing on the rocks and you can see the icicles forming on them.”

While most of Rosar’s fishing time is for leisure, he also fishes for a good meal, particularly bluegill, crappie and walleye. Rosar also has won his share of tournaments. In 2004, he and his partner, to whom Rosar refers as “Iceman,” took second place in the world championship for musky in Chautauqua Lake in New York, near Niagara Falls.

In addition to competing in tournaments throughout the United States, Rosar aims to take two to three one-week fishing trips a year, along with several long weekends.

“There’s probably not a week that goes by that I don’t fish,” he says.

When possible, Rosar also tries to tack a fishing trip onto the various industry conferences he attends. As a member of the Independent Glass Association (IGA) board of directors, this year’s Independents’ Days in Fort Myers, Fla., proved the perfect spot for him and his 17-year-old son, Axel, to get away for a fishing trip after the conference was over.

“We hired a guide out of Boca Grande, Fla., and we went out with him for a day and ended up catching three tarpon—170, 120 and 150 pounds,” Rosar says.

“You couldn’t do that for many days in a row, because each one of those battles is probably half an hour to 40 minutes long and it’s all you can do to hold onto the rod,” he recalls.

Last year, Rosar and his wife, Lisa, traveled to the Grand Cayman Islands for a similar trip, and are planning to travel to Mexico next year.

Though Rosar has fished all over the world, he still emphasizes that catch-and-release—no matter how large the fish—is an important method.

“That goes anywhere in any state,” he says. “There are a lot of people out there who complain that the fish aren’t as big as they used to be, and we have to take a look at ourselves and our resources and make sure we’re giving back.”

And when that trophy fish—the one you’ve been waiting for—does come along, this is still important, Rosar says.

“If you do get that trophy, you should take a picture and let it go,” he adds. Today, taxidermists can create a graphite reproduction of the prized fish from the photo and measurements.

And what about Rosar’s big catch?

“I’m still waiting for that one to mount,” he says. “I did mount a 2-pound crappie and, as far as musky goes, I’m still looking for the one.”

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