Minnesota man buys billboard ad space to smack talk his fishing buddy

An electronic billboard
An electronic billboard near Brainerd that reads, "This is Troy. He sucks at fishing."
Courtesy of Dave Vee via Duluth News Tribune

By Nick Broadway | Duluth News Tribune

A group of friends that live near Brainerd, Minn., goes fishing on the regular, taking one big trip every year. David Vee says there is a tradition of smack talk revolving around Troy, who seems to have some kind of angling curse.

"He's been less than successful in previous trips," Vee described.

He said it is normal for Troy to not catch a single fish for an entire outing. Vee told a story about how one of their friends, Chappie, had a rough night. He wound up sleeping on the boat for most of the day.

"He ended up sleeping through most of the day, but at one point, Troy is still at zero fish, Chappie wakes up, sees his bobber down, catches a fish, shoves it in Troy's face like 'haha,' and then goes back to sleep," Vee recalled.

That one fish still beat Troy's no fish.

Before you keep reading ...

MPR News is made by Members. Gifts from individuals fuel the programs that you and your neighbors rely on. Donate today to power news, analysis, and community conversations for all.

This didn't stop Troy from taking smack talk to the next step — sending all his fishing buddies video of actor Christoper McDonald of Happy Gilmore fame.

"Hey Dave, Tom, Chappie, Clint, this is Shooter McGavin here. You guys really think you're going to beat Troy on your ice fishing trip this year?" McDonald said in the video, ending on a hearty laugh.

"(He) sent it out just randomly, and I'm like, well I got to respond to him," Vee said.

Now they're going the extra mile — mile marker 36 to be exact, along Highway 371. Vee put up an electronic billboard with Troy's face saying "This is Troy. He sucks at fishing. Talk smack to him at Troysucks2@gmail.com."

"Troysucks and Troysucks1 were already taken," Vee explained.

They already got dozens of emails, some giving advice, some offering lessons, others inundating him with even more smack talk. One reads, "Not all of us can be men and provide for our families."

"Some of them were completely savage," Vee said, quoting a short email that used an expletive.

To top this off, the billboard went up the same weekend of a big fishing tournament in Brainerd, so Vee believes about 20,000 visitors now know that Troy sucks at fishing.

"He's a fine fisherman," Vee clarified. "I won't tell him that to his face, but he's a fine fisherman and he knows how to catch a fish and all that stuff, but just if there's bad luck on the boat or in the fish house, Troy's got it."

As for Troy himself? Vee said he has been a real good sport. A video of Troy reacting to the billboard shows him beaming with joy, pointing at the insult with both hands.

Vee said he is going to wear a helmet next year — anticipating revenge from his good friend and fishing buddy.

Vee said he spent just under $300 for the electronic billboard. It ran over a span of five days.