Row-Troller.com

Dedicated to the boats, people, fish, and stories surrounding this man-powered technique. Also, the official site for the Bob Ellis Classic.

Bob Ellis

Musky guide and TV host, Joe Bucher referred to Ellis as the "master of suspended muskies." The legendary Ellis would catch muskies in deep, open water, never using a motor, instead preferring to row his fiberglass skiff across the lakes with a sonar unit and a couple of rods trailing his lures.


Ellis was born in 1918 in Wisconsin Rapids. He went to college at UW-Madison where he was a member of the boxing team, and he served in World War II as a bomber pilot from 1942-45. In 1951, Ellis moved to Island Lake near Manitowish Waters with his wife, building a resort there for the summer months and running a floor covering service in Port Washington during the winter.


Bob's UW-Madison Boxing Team photo.


Bob Ellis: 1945 Air Corps.
Bob was assigned to a Bomber but was never called into action.

Bob Ellis became famous in the Northwoods of Wisconsin for his unconventional methods of fishing for musky in places without normal structure. "Well, I actually treat a school of baitfish like a piece of structure. I try to troll around the edges of it, right over the top of it, and around it,"

Ellis is remembered not only for his unique methods of row trolling for suspended muskies, but also for sharing his tips and information about fishing freely with others. His generosity and love of fishing were what made him a legend, just as much as the 1,000 muskies his family estimates that he caught in his lifetime. Bob was killed in a boating accident while trolling in 1989, and inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2008.    

     
Bob pulling the oars on his Shell Lake, keeping
a watchful eye on his "green-box".
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