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


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