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RIP Paul Grahl.

cam white

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I hope this is alright to post in the ice fishing section... most of us in the ice belt have fished with his products at one time or another. A huge loss for the fishing community to say the least. Rest in peace.

Paul Grahl killed in head-on crash

Report Abuse Posted On September 15, 2012

Everyone in the fishing industry will be deeply saddened to learn that Paul Grahl and his wife Johanna were killed on Friday night in a head-on collision not far from their home in Campbellsport, Wisconsin.

Paul and Johanna's 13-year-old-daughter Ester was also seriously injured in the accident and taken to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

The loss was even more tragic when it was learned that the 24-year old driver who crossed the highway and killed Paul and Johanna was intoxicated. He has been charged with "homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and causing injury by intoxicated use."

Paul was a fishing pioneer - a legend - and though the expression seems trite these days, he was truly "one of a kind".

More important than anything else, however, Paul was a kind, generous and gentle man.

As the founder and owner of HT Enterprises, Paul single-handedly revolutionized ice fishing and the ice fishing industry, introducing a huge array of products, most notably the famous HT line of tip ups, including the Windlass model and a variety of underwater set ups.

Paul was passionate about his beloved HT tip ups

But it was Paul Grahl, the man, who was so mightily impressive. If you met him once, you never forgot it. Nor did Paul ever forget you. From that point on, you were one of his best friends.

Almost every winter for the past decade, Paul has driven from his home in Wisconsin to Kenora to go ice fishing with me. We enjoyed many a laugh and many a good time together.

What many people don't know is that Paul was a deeply religious person. He also spent more time in China, than perhaps anyone else in the fishing industry, making at least two or three major trips to the country every year. So, it was no great surprise about a decade ago, when he and Johanna adopted Ester, a little girl living in China and brought her back to the United States.

I am in shock at the senseless loss of life.

I will miss Paul's calls from the road when he would phone, out of the blue, from somewhere in the world, to chat about nothing more important than how the fish are biting on Lake of the Woods. Especially, the whitefish, which he loved to catch through the ice, taking a few home each trip to enjoy with Johanna and Ester.

Paul was also "in" on the biggest northern pike I've ever seen caught through a hole in the ice. Doug Stange, Paul, Tom Gruenwald (also from HT) and I were filming an In-Fisherman ice fishing segment close to Kenora when the brute inhaled a giant ciscoe hung, fittingly, below one of Paul's HT tip ups.

It was gigantic, at least 32-plus pounds and I can still hear Paul laughing and marveling at the size of the beast as we let it go.

Not a giant pike, perhaps, but the smiles tell you everything you need to know

And his hat!

Paul always showed up in the winter wearing a faded, stained, florescent red, fleece hunting hat - with ear flaps - that had to have been 25 years old. And Doug always gave him heck for donning it.

"You can't wear that thing on television," Doug would say.

But wear it on television, he did, which was the character of the man. Paul was comfortable in his own skin. Totally unpretentious. He worried about nothing. Cared deeply for his family and friends. Enjoyed life to the fullest. And will be missed by everyone who knew him.

Rest in peace, my dear friend. Rest in peace.

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Use his products.Didn't know the man, but after reading your post cam white kinda made me feel like I did. I guess we all know someone like that in our lives. It's times like this that we should all remember to try not to take the good times with our buddys for granted. R.I.P. Prayers up...

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