Mike Peluso is used to the fast-paced life of hockey.
He set a single-season scoring record as a player at Bismarck High School en route to a state runner-up finish, and before coaching the Demons to their only state championship he played in the NHL against the likes of Dominik Hašek, Nicklas Lidström and Chris Chelios.
Now the former hockey pro has turned to a new career. Peluso has taken his fishing guide business full time.
“Certainly I’ve found something I truly enjoy,” Peluso said. “Just like playing hockey, it was a passion. I played with passion, and I do the same thing when I’m fishing.”
Peluso has gone from spending every day on the ice to every day on the open water, and so far he says there is no looking back.
“I promised myself I wasn’t going to chase anything else right now and continue to do this,” Peluso said. “Every morning I get up to go fishing I don’t dread getting up. I can’t wait to do it.”
While hockey and fishing may seem like two very different sports, Peluso said the two are very comparable. Especially when it comes to preparation.
“It’s a lot like when I played hockey,” Peluso said. “You’ve got to keep your skills, and keep sharp.”
But the adrenaline rush of scoring a goal doesn’t quite translate to a big catch. At least that is not what he is after.
“I like the find,” Peluso said “I like to search and look, and all of a sudden you figure something out. I think that, to me, is the adrenaline rush that I’m after.”
His new career isn’t always easy, but he says it is always worth it.
“I love watching other people catch them,” Peluso said. “Because it feels like then I’ve done my job. I’ve found the fish, I’ve put them on top of them, and they’re getting out of it what they wanted to do, and that’s come out and enjoy the day.”
Peluso is will be inducted into the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame in June for his hockey achievements.