Bodin Fisheries, located on the south shore of Lake Superior in Bayfield, WI, has been fishing the local waters over 5 generations.
On the left: Hazel and Elmer Bodin
Nils Adolf Bodin immigrated from Sweden in the late 1800's. Upon arrival into the area, he resided in Ashland where he was a carpenter and a fisherman to make ends meet. Nils decided that being closer to Long Island, where much of the fishing took place, made better sense and moved into what was to become the Bodin Homestead in the Town of Bayview. Nils soon settled and married Elizabeth Johansson and had 6 children. To an extent all of them followed in their fathers shoes and when the were of age, began to fish themselves. Elmer Bodin, one of the 4 sons, decided to move from the homestead down the shoreline closer to Washburn, to what is now Bodin's Resort. Elmer purchased 40 acres and begin fishing on his own separate from his siblings. Elmer married Hazel Bergman, a local Washburn girl, and had two children, Roger and Richard(Dick) Bodin. Both sons went on to continue the fishing legacy and were the true creators of Bodin Fisheries. Dick's son Jeff Bodin (Captian Buddy) is now at the helm of Bodin Fisheries.
Much of the fishing was done off the outside of Long Island. So much so that may of the fisherman built little cabins out on the island in case they couldn't get home. This camp was called Sweedeville, there are still some remnants of the fish camps out on the island today. The fisherman originally used Mackinaw sail boats to come and go with their nets.
Elmer wanted to expand his market, so he purchased a location on Main St. in Ashland, WI. and created a reatil fish market. Around that same time he started providing fish for the CCC (Civilian Conservation Core) camps around the area. There were many different fish distribution routes for Elmer, reaching down towards Park Falls, and East into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He also established a market in the resorts in the area, shipping fish by rail.
When WWII began the fisheries suffered from loss of manpower to run the rigs. However, around this same time the Herring industry went into full swing. There was also a great market for fish to be sent to Fur Farms, such as mink and fox.
Fast forward to present day, Bodin Fisheries is still an incredibly active institution. We process fresh, wild-caught Lake Superior fish daily for restaurants, grocers and distributors all over the mid-west and beyond. We have an active retail operation where the general public can purchase our fresh, frozen and delicious in-house smoked products. See our price list for options!