A photo of Bill Binkelman with a stringer of walleye from the Wisconsin R. while fishing with Dan Gapen, circa 1987, and appearing in a 2017 tribute piece in Midwest Outdoors written by Dan. This would have likely been just a year or two before he passed.
An early contributor to Fishing Facts magazine, Charlie's first article appeared in print September 1972 as an agreement with George Pazik, a story on his finesse technique (Slider Fishing/Crazy Head Lures) in exchange for some free advertising space. That following year he became a contributing editor, and finesse fishing made it's way into print regularly in the Midwest thereafter for years to come.
One of the most popular fishing magazines is "Fishing Facts," published in Milwaukee by George Pazik. In the current issue, Pazik said, in part: "I believe we have gone too far in commercializing our wonderful sport of fishing. Some promoters are promoting too much and have become hustlers and fast-buck artists. I think they threaten to take over our sport just to line their pockets with green. "I think fishing tournaments, some of them, are going too far. I think there are too many. I am opposed to the fast-buck operators trying to line their pockets by sponsoring the killing of fish for money: "As an angler, I love my sport, and I hate to see it getting messed up by people whose only interest is to make a fast buck."
"We think you'll like our unique showroom with its waterfall and 30-foot-long stream containing walleyes and bass. We display samples of all items sold by Northwoods Tackle on rustic old barn board A-frames set on hand-hewn birch logs. The sales counter is hand-crafted like a birch log cabin.
Our new showroom and headquarters office are located on the frontage road, Leon Road, which runs along the east side of the freeway, Highways 41-45, just south of the Main Street off-ramp (Highway 74-Brown Deer Road) in Menominee Falls, a suburb on the far northwest side of the Milwaukee area.
It will be our pleasure to escort visitors on a guided tour of our new headquarters building 10 AM and at 2 PM, Monday thru Friday."
Located in Menomonee Falls, WI, The Northwoods Trading Post was arguably the first of the "outdoor themed" destination stores, now popularized by Bass Pro Shops and similar outdoor retailers. The creation was the brainchild of George Pazik, Fishing Facts lead man at the time and Northwoods Publishing owner. Several have mentioned this push into the outdoor retail market was one of the big sticking points between George and Bill (Binkelman), leading to their eventual parting ways years earlier. The first store featured a trout stream running through it's space, along with fish and game mounts on the walls, a lodge-style look with lots of timber, and tons of tackle and outdoor supplies, the same stuff you'd see advertised in every issue of Fishing Facts. This photo of George kneeling beside the stream in the Menominee store was taken in August, 1975. Note all the tackle supplies on rolling log display shelves in the background.