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

GlAngler Subscription

Recent Posts


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