Great Lakes Angler Blog

Mull BLOG LOW on the Ice

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year! This little notice from Lake of the Woods Tourism in Minnesota crossed the email desk this morning and I thought some of you other poor fellows wishing they were fishing would enjoy watching it. Not the greatest sound quality at first, but some decent fishing action in a "sleeper house" out on the ice. I'm scheduled to go to Lake of the Woods in February for a board meeting of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers, so this video has me pumped to head northward.  Read Full Story

Custom Jigs & Spins expands the Pro Series Slender Spoon spectrum with new in-demand sizes

Thursday, October 02, 2014

CORALVILLE, IA – Minnows? Nope. Shad? Not’a. Aquatic insects? Not even close. Go ahead fishin’ geeks, take the micrometer from out of your pocket-protector and start measuring. It won’t take you long to realize no two specimens in nature are exactly the same size.  Read Full Story

That 70s Show On Ice

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CORALVILLE, IA  – What’s in a name? Everything. Just ponder all the products we use today whose names represent the category itself.  Read Full Story

New Snow Shoe Tip-Up Stays Atop Deep Snow

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

PLANO, IL – Ice fishing in some snow-belt regions can get downright daunting. Thick snow blankets the hoarfrost, making hole to hole travel an adventure in itself, let alone finding the right fishing equipment to handle the knee-deep bog of white frozen fun.  Read Full Story

Ice Fishing from a Boat

Friday, November 08, 2013

CROSSLAKE, MN – Just because your favorite lake has yet to freeze over doesn’t mean you can’t go ice fishing. No, we’re not talking about performing miracles, or walking on water like another ancient fisherman once did.


Rather, it’s all about the fact that as water temps move into the mid to low 40s, fish of many species are fairly settled in the same spots they’ll be once the surface seals the lake shut. Find ‘em first in a boat and you’ll be light years ahead of the pack once safe ice arrives, with fresh hungry fish awaiting lures below.



Last year, three top teams at the North American Ice Fishing Circuit (NAIFC) Championships hopped into boats a month before the December tournament and discovered some real gem fishing spots—places that eventually lead to monster crappies and winning weights. Anglers Shawn Bjonfald, Kevin Fassbind and Brandon Newbie travelled to Mille Lacs Lake in Central Minnesota on a cool fall day to literally search the water for hotspots.


The key, Bjonfald noted, was the use of GPS alongside Humminbird Side Imaging sonar, which made clean sweeps of large shallow flats. The anglers’ eventual quarry—palm-stretching crappies and sunfish—were known to haunt very specific patches of vegetation. But on Mille Lacs’ shallow southern bays, the best plant patches—including pondweed, elodea and coontail—only grew in small gardens. The choice greenery housed the biggest panfish, too, but was often surrounded by empty acres of clean sand substrate.


“Finding these spots with Side Imaging in a boat,” noted Bjonfald, “was infinitely more efficient than it would have been on ice. We searched hundreds of acres of featureless, fishless water before finally finding our best spots; can’t imagine how many holes we would have had to drill had we waited to start searching at first ice.”



For Bjonfald, Fassbind and Newbie, the strategy involved motoring slowly across expansive 10- to 15-foot flats in a parallel grid pattern, simultaneously inspecting 100 feet of real estate on both sides of their boat.  Bjonfald’s Side Imaging unit clearly uncovered not only the location of vegetation, but revealed the tallest pondweed stalks interspersed with little openings—perfect habitat for monster crappies and sunfish.


“Not only did the Humminbird reveal the best weed beds,” he said, “Side Imaging also let us zoom in and drop GPS waypoints on tiny pieces of turf—areas we returned to during the tournament to catch big panfish.” Bjonfald and his comrades noted that the coordinates were often so precise that literally just one hole was needed to position them directly over a sweet spot.


The teams also attributed their precision and eventual success to Aqua-Vu Micro underwater cameras. “In prefishing, anytime we saw something promising on screen, we would drop the camera optics and verify it—often spotting fish relating to specific plant stalks. When we returned to fish the Championship, the fish were still there.”


After the two-day competition, which hosted nearly 100 top-qualifying teams from across North America, the enterprising anglers had nearly made a clean sweep of the tournament, capturing 1st-, 3rd- and 4th-place finishes. Bjonfald took “big fish” honors with a trophy 2-pound crappie, eventually finishing 4th. Fassbind and partner Nick Smyers took 3rd, while Brandon Newbie and partner Ryan Wilson iced nearly 25 pounds of panfish to win the Championship by over 6 pounds. Newby and Wilson also won two other qualifying events in the 2012-13 NAIFC season, leading to a Team of the Year title.


Recently, Bjonfald and company were back afloat Mille Lacs. Once again, they searched the shallows for those elusive giant crappies and, perhaps, another successful showing at the upcoming 2103 NAIFC Championship, December 21 and 22.


Even though most of us won’t be fishing for anything more important than bragging rights among buddies, the same strategy of scouting for fish prior to the big freeze can make you a big winner. Wait for one of those nice, calm late November or early December days. Launch the boat and you’ll likely have the lake all to yourself— and set the stage for the best ice season you’ve ever had.


  Read Full Story

Frabill Straight Line Tip Up Gets Rid of Coils

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

PLANO, IL – Fact: The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Fact: Straight fishing line is more manageable and reveals strikes much better than a coiled tether. Fact: Frabill is progressive, almost prophetic in their forward-thinking tip-up program. Fact: Frabill has notched yet another victory for equipment evolution with the new Straight Line Tip-Up.  Read Full Story

Juice up for ice fishing

Monday, August 12, 2013

Here are some cool videos--promotional, but fun to watch--for you hardwater anglers hoping for a cold winter.   Read Full Story

Organizers of Ice Fishing Tournaments Need Permit In Wisconsin

Friday, November 30, 2012

MADISON - Organizers of ice fishing tournaments will want to apply for a permit for their 2013 event as soon as possible, and they can use a new online feature aimed at making the process faster and more user friendly.  Read Full Story

Trekker MAX and Commando MAX Feature Super Ice Gear Storage

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Jackson, WI –Frabill’s says its new MAX portable ice fishing shelters offer the maximum amount of quality and fishability in a portable ice fishing shelter.  Read Full Story

Ice Fishing: Rod Box Shields Those Hallowed Jigging Sticks

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jackson, WI – Ice hurts. At least that’s what your hardwater rods, reels and tackle say. Things that get dropped onto a frozen surface aren’t typically cleared for safe and soft landings. Ice makes things go crunch, snap and crack. Only one way to combat this: put up a defense system.  Read Full Story

Recent Posts


Jeff's Tackle Shop AmVets Glorvigen Walleyes Mr. Twister Ryan Kleckner Snow-Shoe Tip-Up Mack's Lure Rugged Shark Speakers Up Stream Hydration Back Pack Alaska Mary Snyder Dogs USSA Gene Larew Launch ramp hardbaits Rods Evolve Bob Schmidt Lighting binoculars tackle storage High school bass fishing Muskie Lure Hunting weather award Bait head Lip-Stix Soul5 Tackle Labs ChartSelect Iaconelli Tides Delorme Traditions Media Pharmaceuticals Hamlin Masters Walleye Circuit Green Bay, Wisconsin Personal Flotation Device Grady-White Minnesota Mag Light University of Buffalo Manistee Aquatic AV Lures Mystery Tackle Box STRATTEC Martin-Flory New Zealand Lund Wild River series Berkley Tip-Up Chaco Smartfind S20 Personal AIS Beacon iPhone Brandon Newby 360 Shoremaster Shurhold Frigibar Future Fisherman Foundation FRIDAY FUNNIES ATV CUSTOM JIGS 'N' SPINS tree stand injury Raritan Lead Lights Matt Straw HELLA Coast Guard Footwear Smart Guide Publications Ditty bag Full Throttle Skamania Mania Extreme Baitcast Reel Brian Brosdahl exotic species Fish Hawk XD4 National Guard Rain gear Camera mount EZ BoatPort Promise Keeper Costa Evinrude Big Bear Products Mark Chmura Size limits Deep Sea Diver thieves trailer tongue Beckson Brown trout Yamaha ATV 1675 Pro Guide Betsy Dollahon Bristol Bay Salmon Lake trout Rovermax LR 100 Fishing Boat names Ethanol iPilot Link Boat US Conservation Global Spectrum Tracker Marine Mike Seymour Swim bait Hobie Louie Stout Pro Polish Interlux BoatUS EZ Dock Lock Boating safety Youth CLASSIC Mosquito repellent Bad Elf spreader light Patrick Hurst Wind Power Northwest Indiana Steelheaders Simrad Barry Brown Marine Frabill The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls Bait Rigs blue marlin Oshkosh Marine Lighting Ranger Rain suit Goby St. Croix Rods Bass Pro Church Tackle Owners tournament Lake Erie Northland Aqualuma Mercury Marine Buff Humminbird Insect repellent Bethel University Whale Jonathon VanDam RedHead Muscle Squared 65 Boga Mark Zona GPS for Lightning Connector Rubrail Hevi-Beads Kevin VanDam Milennia MIL-iDock Coleman cooler Tools MATE USA Trout Unlimited Tight Lines Jewelry KVD Speedbag Wormfile Air show KVD Speedbag Topwater Glacier Glove Baitcast Fishing Pole BBQ Lighter The Harry Lure Shock Wave BOLT Padlock South Haven USCG St. Croix Bass fishing Spreads Bass lure Bibs Kevin Van Dam Stabenow Sport Shows Kurt Mazurek Shoes Jeff Gustafson Z-Man La Mar Balog Home Port Marine Marketing Catch & Cook Salmon Beckson Marine Deck Plate ABT Bass Pro Shops Wildlife Forever Storage Swim Whizz Reese LineSnubber Ice Fishing ONIX Ranger Aluminum Deep V Series Grab Rail JBL Legend Extreme U.S.S.A. Shelter RAT FINKEE Davis Instruments Fiberglass tiller Coleman USO Earth Day Scott Glorvigen Whistler Spoon Tyee bimini top Normark Magnum Flow-Troll Sharpeners DuraSafe Forage Minnow Clay Dyer Legend Gold Batteries Bass Pro Shops Four-Person Dome Tent with Screen Porch Radial DSC On board Bristol Bay Sheldon's Wedding Ring Plano sunglass Marine General Lowrance Venice, Louisiana Grunden's Blue Heron Communications Synergy Outdoors News Skarlis Flat Slider 75 Larson Electronics jigs spoon Ascend Clam MWC Jeff Wenzel Crankbait Net Odd'ball Fin Spin eZSplice dock lines Alaskan Invasive species Alabama Rig Streams PulseTech Moisture Muncher Yamaha Video Bug repellent Dogwood Canyon Trail Runs mudsnail SOG Ranger VS1780 splice Audio Indiana DNR Izaak Walton League Rescue Mack's Lures Side Thruster Games Traditions Lake Superior Kill switch Andrew Semprevivo Okuma B.A.S.S. Traxstech Costa Sunglasses Rapala Technology Lake of the Woods boat rental John E. Phillips Brad's Fuel ASA Knife sharpening Thermacell InvisaSnap Ryan Wilson Rippin' Lips Aqua-Vu Rushton Gregory Marcum USCGA Knives Kayak Power Todd Sokolow Beckson Marine Stowaway Bag Plate SeaEra QC Dan Egan Brian "Bro" Brosdahl Deck Plate Team Aqua-Vu Army Corp of Engineers LCWCC Macho Minnow Plano Tackle Boxes VMC Torpedo Divers Boat lifts Olcott, NY Radio Seakeeper gyro Free Fishing Weekend Triton Boats PFDs DuraSafe Electronics Lock Ditch Tournaments Marine Radio Tom Neustrom FLW Oculus Dollohan Bheestie Bag Great Lakes Troller Dave Mull Blog Accon Marine Steve Wood exotic invader Jerky Michigan Records Absolute Outdoor, Inc. Dunkirk, NY Holland WFN Trade Shows Brite Wash Green Bay inReach LakeMaster Western States Version Apps clubs Whale Pumps One-Handle-Does-It-All System New Lures Autotether EVOLVE FISHING CO Minn Kota Chatterbait Conservation Marathon Bass Pro Shops Gift Card Spencer Yachts Plano Synergy Contest Black Earth Creek ODNR Matt Serbenski Ultimate Flannel Shirts NMEA WileyX great lakes Marine Speakers Vick Walleye IGFA Gear Asian carp MUSHING cruzin Pop-Up LED Bowlights Sunglasses Sportsman's rights Scholarship News/Social Tackle Bag McMurdo Hobie Pro Angler Smart Guide to Freshwater Fishing Jack Links Fiberglass boat Reef Runner Silver Horde OHIO Water Buddies YUM Dinger Cannon EZ Splice Fasteners South Haven, Michigan Fort Wayne, Indiana treestand injury Sun protection New York Serious Shine iPilot PRADCO Ranger Boats Beckson Marine Stowaway Bag Plates and Kits Rig'N Tails LineGrabber toilet Prosepec Electronics Multitools Honda River Fishing Practical Sailor Fish America Foundation Telescoping JIggler Long Rod Gill NA Fishing Clubs Gull Lake Marine Boats Aqua Vu Titan Chain fitness Innovative Outdoors Boating Tommy Skarlis Shipping Quantum Side Imaging NAIFC Championship Accessories marlin Lake Ontario Orca Fin System Soft Jigwobbler Chicago barrier Kayaks Bass theft Foul weather gear TRAC Cabela's Andrew Dordek thieves BASSMASTER radar Headgear Wake Fishing TRAC Ecological Sunstream Boat Lifts KVD Bro Brosdahl iPad GPS Speedometer Homeport Marine Marketing Keep Kool Marsh Madness Lund Boats Tournament Grade Circle Hooks MULL BLOG Lake Michigan 580P lenses Wounded Warriors Ultracoat Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Swanson-Russell Swedish FireKnife Chargers Onyx Line Line Recycle Bin Salmon Unlimited of Illinois YUMphibian Angler 175T YUM Safety Dave Genz Kindle book SeaLife Cameras Oakley Sunglasses F-Series Storm Gear Lake Assault Optima Boat Covers WeatherStation Bait Holder Navigation Rough Weather CMP Global Marine NewsWire Cliff Pace Port of Indiana Boat maintenance METS spinning rod Extended Warranty Tournament Walleye tournament Scott Martin Grand Rapids Ultimate Outdoors Show Ice Features Wisconsin Electronics Bug bite relief Gunnison, CO Acme JVD Princecraft Tim Popfinger Gary Giudice Aluminum Deep V Series LOTSA BoatUS Angler Corey Schmidt Michigan City, Indiana Micro-Mobile Pro Viewing Case Contaminants Chronglobal Turning Point Props Lakemaster Downriggers Michigan DNR Gravity Multi-species Slide Moor Endura Costa Del Mar Volvo Penta Monel Metal Mustad Rippin Lips Gary Dollahon Ned Rig trailer tongue Catfish Slender Spoon Airmar ABT X-2 Countdown Lake Huron Sphaera Personal Flotation Devices Dave Mull Blue Collar Outdoors Ravenswood Media ice fishing, Bro Show, Traditions Media PLB Soo Locks Angler Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo Black Velvet BASSMASTER CLASSIC Strike King Uncle Norm's Safe boating Faria Niagara Falls Custom Jigs & Spins Fishouflage AKOYA ShowSpan Beckson Marine Weather Buoy Husky Jerk Nautical Insurance Mazurek redfish