Great Lakes Angler Blog

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

GlAngler Subscription

Recent Posts


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