Updated: 06/18/2013 10:32 PM KSTP.com By: Cassie Hart
It’s hard to imagine what a professional fisherman and an NHL goalie would have in common, but Brian Schroeder of Zimmerman and Josh Harding of the Minnesota Wild do have one thing in common.
On a beautiful day on Mille Lacs Lake, one of the best walleye anglers in the state is heading off to one of his favorite spots.
Brian Schroeder knows the lake, and has the hardware to prove it. He recently won the walleye extravaganza. For years it was called the “Wave Wacker”.
“It was one of the top ones in my career. I know it’s called Walleye Extravaganza now, but everybody thinks of the tournament as the Wave Wacker and growing up I remember seeing all the pros fishing in the Wave Wacker and thinking someday I’m gonna be able to do that.”
He did, and on this day, Brian, his wife Abby found fish early and often.
Brian was quick to show why he's a pro fisherman by catching a 26-incher. Brian is also a pro fisherman because of a life-changing diagnosis six years ago.
“I realized with my MS I’m not going be able to do this forever, so I figured instead of waiting till I was 50 or 60 I’d just go and put all the chips in right away and try it and my family has been unbelievably supportive and helps me out. I couldn't do it without my mom, dad, sister and obviously my wife and my kids.”
Before brain was a pro fisherman he was a very good hockey player; so when Josh Harding announced his MS, he watched and marveled.
“It was pretty inspirational to see him come out in the playoff series and play solid. It’s weird
cause you see and hear people on TV and radio talking about it, and everybody has an expert opinion on what he's going through. It is hard to understand actually what he is going through unless you've kinda been there. It’s tough and it's amazing what he's doing.”
Like Harding, Brian Schroeder is doing what he can to inspire and educate one lunker at a time.
“You can still go out and do what you want to do and just get through it. But I want to bring awareness to everybody that you can battle through it.”
They are both trying to land the big one, a cure for MS.
Watch a roundtable discussion with Emily Wilson with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.