There's a lot going on for Dylan when he's not chasing walleye because Maki Body & Glass is always busy. Dylan multi-tasks and steps in when needed.
"I'm head estimator and production manager, but when things get jammed, I'll jump in and help with the production by fixing a bumper or whatever else it takes," he said.
Dylan's grandfather, Rayno Maki, started the business in 1952, back when the average repair was roughly $350. Today, his grandson knows that to repair today's vehicles correctly, it comes down to continual training and preparation---just like tournament fishing.
"We stress training in a big way, so everyone here is I-CAR-certified because we always want to be at the forefront of this industry," he said. "With tournament fishing, you have to be ahead of the game too because the competition is the best in the country. We prepare by getting out there on the lake before the event to practice (also called 'pre-fishing') and really study the conditions and where the fish hang out during certain times of the day."
Collision repair done right requires an eye for detail and a passion for the art of returning a vehicle back into its pre-accident condition. Fishing requires similar skills, and that's why Dylan loves both activities, he said.
"I get satisfaction from both, and that's why I love doing them. Doing a good job on a customer's car is like catching a big fish!" he said.
After finishing in third place at AIM National Championship Shootout, Dylan wants to compete again in 2019 and take the top prize home this time.
"We are going to have to get better before then so that we can qualify again," he said. "Right now we are ranked ninth out of 100 boats in Minnesota, but they only take the top five for the Shootout. We will need to have a few really good days to move up, but we're pretty confident and there's still plenty of time left."