John grew up in Stockton, Minnesota about 10 minutes from Winona Minnesota and the Mississippi River. He has been fishing and hunting as far back as he can remember and learned everything he knows from his grandpa Bill.
Without fail, he was either on the river or Lake Winona and in the right months on the trout streams of Southeast Minnesota.
His love for carving started when he was old enough to hold a knife. From picking up old drift wood from the Mississippi to make a veriety of lighthouses for his grandma and making boxes, coat hangers and pencil holders to name a few when he was younger. Also drawing and creating pictures of anything is another passion of his. It showed when he aced all of his wood and art classes throughout his school years.
Back in 2007 John came into the sport of spearing-for northern pike and at the time couldn't really afford to buy a lot of fish decoys and he couldnt find any, being the only person in Winona County to actually spear northern pike. So he put his skills to the test and before he knew it after reading some how to's and getting some first hand tips from some carvers(friends).
He created his first decoy. Didn't look the prettiest but it worked! And thats his goal for every decoy he makes is to make sure it swims well and won't fall apart, because he likes to only use his own decoys now and doesn't want anything happening to his and so he takes extra steps in the carving process to make sure every decoy won't crack or chip. He's a perfectionist as well and it definately shows in his decoys.
He also was able to get his wife Heidi, who he married last year (2009) the last day of spear season; involved in the sport of spearing and finally after this year of many hours in the darkhouse she was able to spear her first pike - a day before their 1st anniversary, which measured 33" and weighed 8.6lbs which was an extremely beautiful fish and a very big fish for being her first as well as an anniversary gift to herself she said. As well, both of them love to spear,John gives her some carved decoys for her to paint folk art designs. With his love for fishing and paying attention to detail he pretty much sticks to realistic looking fish but sometimes likes to mix things up with a folk art fish.Every decoy John carves gets the same treatment when it comes to quality and making sure they won't crack and will remain in great looking condition for many years to come.
All of John's Decoys are handpainted and can be seen on his website Laska's Decoys- www.Laskasdecoys.webs.com,
John has decoys for sale thru his website and can be ordered over the phone. 507-313-1601
Information provided by John Laska