Whether they become stars of the burgeoning social media fishing world remains to be seen, but four teen-agers from Roseau, Minn., definitely are having fun sharing their outdoor pursuits on YouTube and Instagram.
Quad Outdoors – as they call it – is “four friends in the outdoors”: Tucker Lundgren, 17; Gram Lovgren, 16; Jake Wensloff, 16; and Adam Weiland, 15. To date, they have nearly 830 followers on Instagram and 217 followers on YouTube.
During a recent video chat, Lundgren, Lovgren and Wensloff talked about Quad Outdoors, which began in 2017 as a message group they called “Fish Crew.”
“Then we all got together and started fishing a bit, and Quad Outdoors came around,” Lovgren said.
In a part of Minnesota where hunting and fishing are a way of life, the Quad Outdoors crew has an abundance of outdoors opportunities close at hand, and it’s reflected in their YouTube videos and Instagram photos.
Lake of the Woods features prominently in their content, as does the Roseau River, a tributary of the Red River that flows through Roseau. Quad Outdoors currently has 24 videos on its YouTube channel, and the goal this summer is to post more regularly, Lundgren says, perhaps as often as once a week “if fishing is good.”
As the oldest member of the crew and the first to have a driver's license, Lundgren was the chauffeur for the video shoots that took them outside Roseau city limits last summer; Lovgren and Wensloff got their licenses in January.
“Last summer was kind of hard to get on and regularly post because only one of us had our license, and it was kind of hard going from place to place if he couldn’t make it,” Wensloff said. “We just started out biking around town with our rods and going fishing.”
Thanks to smartphones and GoPro cameras, there’s always a way to shoot video when the opportunity arises. The boys also have a drone that adds even more perspective to their outdoor adventures.
No doubt, their work is influenced by YouTube fishing stars such as Aaron Wiebe of “Uncut Angling” fame and Jay Siemens, Canadian anglers who have basically set the gold standard for the quality of their fishing content.
“Whenever we get a chance to get out and go fishing, we take the camera and record a little bit,” said Wensloff, who edits the raw footage using the iMovie video editor on his MacBook.
The video with the duck that landed in their boat while they were hunting flooded farmland last fall is a favorite, they say. Other misadventures include getting stuck with a Polaris Ranger and losing a fishing rod that flies out of the boat.
Perhaps the most memorable moment, though, occurred in February during a pike fishing shoot on Lake of the Woods near Warroad, Minn., when the business end of their ION battery ice auger came off the power head and spun to the bottom of the lake while Wensloff was drilling.
As luck would have it, another friend, Skylar Thingvold, just happened to be shooting video when the mishap occurred.
Seeing is definitely believing.
“I was drilling out this hole and the bolt must have stripped out somehow that holds it to the blade,” Wensloff says in the video. “How does that even happen? I swear this is not staged.”
Tragedy turns to triumph later in the video, when Lundgren and Thingvold make a quick trip back to shore and the nearby Marvin Home Center to purchase a length of rope and a heavy-duty magnet that allows them to retrieve the auger blade from the bottom of the lake.
How do you get a 4-foot auger flighting through an 8-inch hole in the ice?
Very carefully, as the video shows.
You can’t make this stuff up.
Their most recent video was recorded on the Minnesota fishing opener, when Lovgren tied into a sturgeon while fishing walleyes with Wensloff and Lundgren on the Rainy River. They’d tried for sturgeon earlier without success so they switched to their lighter walleye gear, Lovgren said.
“We had given up on sturgeon for the day and had dropped down our walleye jigs and hoped for maybe catching a sucker or a walleye,” he said. “I was just sitting there on my phone, rod in one hand. We were catching suckers every now and then, and we had caught one walleye.
“I was just strolling through Instagram on my phone and I got another bite. I set the hook, and my rod almost flew out of my hands, and it was, like, ‘Whoa, this is a big one.’ ”
The behemoth measured 59 inches, and they managed to land it in their small boat – without a net, no less – after a battle that lasted 15 to 20 minutes.
“Jake (Wensloff) was shoulder deep trying to bear hug the thing and get it out of the water,” Lovgren said. “I had the drag set pretty loose because I was just nervous.”
With summer vacation at hand, content on tap includes camping trips and perhaps some multi-episode videos, Lundgren says.
Ultimately, they’d like to land some sponsors such as sporting goods stores or tackle manufacturers to support their venture.
“We’ve looked into it a little bit, but we don’t really know how to do it, I guess,” Lundgren said.
For now, it’s all about having fun and making the most of summer vacation and jobs to support their outdoor habit. There’s plenty of time to worry about the business side of things.
Lovgren’s mom, Jenny Hanson, says she wouldn’t be “extremely surprised” to see them end up as guides or with similar outdoors careers. Already, she says, they screen print their own line of merchandise, including decals and clothing, that’s available through their Instagram page, and they all saved up to buy their own fishing boats.
Locally, they’ve developed quite a following.
“I’m just really impressed with their determination and fortitude,” Hanson said. “I’m a mom, so I have to be proud, but I think they’ve done pretty well for teenagers.”
On the Web:
Youtube.com (search for Quad Outdoors).
Dokken reports on outdoors. Call him at (701) 780-1148, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1148 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.