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Winter Pluggin’

By Mark Romanack

Steelhead, browns and lake trout are all in the mix when you fish plugs
during the winter.
In the winter months most anglers in the Upper Great Lakes are focused squarely on hard water fishing. Jake Romanack, the new co-host of Fishing 411 TV is a prime example of an angler who lives for hard water fishing adventures.

Ice fishing is a hoot, but it’s not for everyone and it’s not the only way to wet a fishing line in the dead of winter. Around the Great Lakes anglers have dozens of noteworthy rivers that cough up outstanding steelhead, brown trout and lake trout fishing.

The water is ice cold, but the fishing action can be red hot. Ironically, plug fishing is one of the most consistent ways to catch trout and steelhead in the dead of winter. High action plugs like the Yakima Mag Lip are amazingly effective on all species of trout and salmon

The Tradition of Boat, Sport and Fishing Shows

By Mark Romanack

Sport shows are a great place to gain invaluable fishing information.
Visit the page and check out the consumer shows our
team will be attending in 2016. Visit the booth, take in a seminar and
don’t forget to sign up for the Ultimate Walleye Dream Trip giveaway.
When I was breaking into the outdoor business some 30 something years ago, we didn’t have the internet, on-line shopping, Black Friday or Cyber Monday. What we did have were independently owned sport shops, boat dealers and some amazingly popular consumer sport, boat and fishing shows. The “outdoor shows” of the time attracted a healthy number of dealers and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages, skill levels and walks of life. 

Standing room only was the norm and the buzz these shows generated was something to behold. People would stand in line to get tickets for hours before the show opened. Now that’s enthusiasm for the outdoors!

The Excitement of First Ice

By Jake Romanack

Slab crappie are just one of the many rewards for fishing on first ice. The
 author took these nice fish using tungsten jigs tipped with soft plastics.
As I look out the window and see fresh snow falling, I start to shake with excitement. Finally the weather is cooling down and Mother Nature is acting like winter. For me winter is all about ice fishing and ice fishing is a lot about first ice.

First ice is the most productive and exciting time to be on hard water. Small inland lakes are the first to freeze over and here in Northern Michigan that means it’s panfishing time.

During the last few years, the buzz on panfishing has focused squarely on the growing popularity of tungsten jigs. Seemingly everyone these days is making a tungsten jig of one design or another. Shapes and designs aside, the one thing we can all agree on is heavier is better.

Personal Best

By Mark Romanack

Personal best in fishing doesn’t always have to mean personal biggest.
 These modest lake trout have a deeper personal meaning for the author.
Fishing is an excuse we use to spend more time with the
 people we care about.
In the world of sport fishing, anglers are always talking about their “personal best” catch. No doubt when an angler catches an especially noteworthy fish, that memory is going to live on as long as the angler! I know in my case, I can remember the details of countless fishing trips like they happened yesterday.

One of the coolest things about fishing is that no matter what your personal best might be, there is always a chance to improve upon that fish. That’s the drive that keeps a lot of us self proclaimed “fishing nuts” coming back again and again. While there is no guarantee that each trip will produce another personal best catch, just knowing it could happen is enough to make sure we keep some skin in the game.

Must Know Fishing Knots

By Mark Romanack

A good source for learning fishing knots is the site
This site makes it easy to master a wealth of common fishing knots.
Fishermen swear by a lot of fishing knots. Truth be told, they swear at a lot of knots too! At times it seems there are more fishing knots out there than fishermen. In a lifetime of fishing for all kinds of freshwater fish, I’ve come to the conclusion that mastering just four different knots has served me well.

I’m never against learning an new knot or two, but the four listed here are the ones I use day in and day out to catch just about anything that swims.

The Palomar Knot is the work horse of fishing knots. Simply put this knot is not only easy to tie, it’s the strongest possible connection for tying fishing line to snaps, swivels, single hooks, small lures, etc. The Palomar Knot also works equally well with monofilament, fluorocarbon, co-polymer lines and even super lines. This is one knot every fisherman should be able to tie in his or her sleep.