Back Story

Merle Erickson

"The first time I went deep-sea fishing off Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, I caught a 90-pound striped marlin. The next year, I caught a 230-pound fish. I was absolutely hooked."

Merle Erickson, professor of accounting, says that in the years after those initial outings in the 1990s when he was a PhD student, fishing became an obsession. He researched the best fishing grounds, the best times of the year to fish, and the most productive types of ecosystems. Erickson's favorite spots are Puerto Vallarta, Cabo, and the Gulf of Mexico, 60 to 90 miles offshore. He releases the marlin but typically brings back 50 to 100 pounds of fresh sushi-grade tuna, which he shares with family and friends. Erickson uses pictures of himself with giant tuna and marlin to dramatic effect in his class on taxes and business strategy. The pictures underscore critical information, said Erickson, who was photographed by Chris Strong fishing near his Wisconsin summer home."I tell the students, 'What I just told you was not just a 10-basis-point idea, but a 1,000-basis-point idea.'" - Judith Crown
Last Updated 1/16/14