He loves to fish, but don't call Rob Neumann a fishing elitist.
The new managing editor at In-Fisherman enjoys hooking up with walleyes, bass and northern pike as much as anybody, but his first fishing experiences involved more humble pursuits.
"I grew up fishing for carp and bullheads in cemetery and golf course ponds," said Neumann, 38, who was born and raised in the Chicago area.
Proof, therefore, that a fishing career can be jump-started by anything that swims. It didn't take the young Neumann long to decide what he wanted to do for a living.
"Even as far back as high school I knew I wanted to go into something dealing with fisheries. I always loved to fish and it took me down that path."
The path led to college at Virginia Tech, Texas A&M and South Dakota State, where Neumann earned bachelor's of science, master's and doctorate degrees, respectively, in fisheries science. He was an associate professor at the University of Connecticut and Southern Illinois University before moving to Brainerd. Wherever he's lived Neumann has fished for whatever species could be had locally.
"In Virginia it was trout and smallmouth bass. In Texas it was largemouth bass and catfish. South Dakota has great walleye and pike fishing. Now some of my favorite species are right around here in the Brainerd area."
Neumann said he's had opportunities to work for state agencies and that he enjoyed teaching, but the job at In-Fisherman appealed to him on multiple fronts.
"I've always loved to fish and to write. Being able to combine those two loves into one job is a great opportunity. I've always been a fan of In-Fisherman. One of the things I really enjoyed about it was how science was incorporated into the articles. I'm really fortunate to find a job that combines fishing, science and writing."
He succeeds Steve Hoffman, who was promoted to publisher.
Neumann's name has appeared in the magazine in the past in the Bits & Pieces section. His academic adviser at South Dakota State was a regular contributor and encouraged Neumann to contact Editor-in-Chief Doug Stange with his ideas. Neumann has written about a northern pike tracking study and alewives.
"It's fun to take fisheries science and condense it into stories. I'm still in the learning stages. This business is new to me. I have an opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business."
Neumann moved here in August with his wife, Jill, and 1-year-old son, Mitch.
VINCE MEYER can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5862.
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