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Eagle Claw & Fishing 411 TV Announce Marketing Partnership

For Immediate Release

Mark Romanack,  or Nickie Kiefer, Marketing Manager

Eagle Claw the most recognized brand in all of fishing recently announced a marketing partnership with Fishing 411 Television. Fishing 411 broadcasts nationally on the World Fishing Network and is also available on-demand at
Founded in Denver, Colorado back in 1925, Eagle Claw is solely owned by Lee McGill and is proud to be the only brand of fish hooks “Made in America”. Besides being made in America, Eagle Claw produces fish hooks for literally every saltwater and freshwater fishing application.
“Fishing 411 Television could not be more pleased to be representing Eagle Claw, Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp and Eagle Claw Trokar fish hooks,” says Fishing 411 Founder and Producer Mark Romanack. “Growing up in Michigan, for decades I’ve used Eagle Claw hooks to catch literally every species found in the region. From panfish to walleye, bass, pike, musky, trout, salmon and catfish, Eagle Claw makes the perfect hook for those who are passionate about fishing and just as passionate about landing the fish they hook.”
Effective immediately Fishing 411 will start showcasing Eagle Claw hooks in action as they film TV episodes all across the Great Lakes region. The educational programming produced by Fishing 411 is the ideal platform for both brand awareness and helping anglers to be more successful on the water.

To learn more about Eagle Claw hooks and Fishing 411 TV respectively visit  and

In Search of Grays

The author’s wife Mari caught this very nice Lake
 Trout “aka Gray” while jig fishing
 on Grand Traverse Bay.

Mark Romanack

            I marvel at all the different names popular fish species get saddled with. The lake trout is no exception and this unique species goes by some pretty colorful names including denizen of the deep, mackinaw, siscowet, lake char, touladi and my favorite the gray trout.
            The gray trout or just gray for short inhabits clear, cold and deep water lakes all across the Northern United States and Canada. Grays can be found in all the Great Lakes and a surprisingly large number of inland lakes that feature deep, cold and clear waters.
            Compared to other trout and char species the lake trout grows much larger. Fish in the 20 pound class are fairly common and every year anglers boat fish in the 30, 40 and sometimes even 50 pound class!
            Well known as a structure or bottom loving species, one of the most effective ways to target grays is to troll near bottom with the help of a downrigger. Spoons, plugs and spinners will all catch grays, but hands down the most deadly bottom rig for trolling up these fish is a rig known as the dodger and Spin-n-Glo. The dodger is an attractor that is rigged about 18-24 inches in front of a Yakima Bait ( No. 2 or 0 size Spin-n-Glo body. The Spin-n-Glo is threaded onto a 20 to 40 pound test leader, a bead or two is added to make it easier for the Spin-n-Glo to rotate and the rig is completed with either a No. 2/0 single hook or a No. 2 treble hook.
            This rig is set behind the boat about 10 to 15 feet and the line is connected to the downrigger line release. The whole set up is lowered to bottom and set so the downrigger ball just skips along churning up a clouds of sediment on the bottom.
            The cloud of sediment simulates lake trout naturally feeding on the bottom. The trailing dodger and Spin-n-Glo rig closes the deal. This simple set up has literally produced countless lake trout anywhere they are found feeding on or near the bottom.
            The top trout colors on the Spin-n-Glo are the Clown, Pearl Clown, Lime Chartreuse Tiger, Lime Chartreuse and Double Trouble UV Green. On the dodger most anglers favor a silver, brushed stainless steel, chartreuse or green/chartreuse colors.
            The Spin-n-Glo can be purchased pre-rigged and ready to fish, but most anglers prefer to buy the bodies in packages of 12 and rig their own using fluorocarbon leader material. The Spin-n-Glo comes with white, black, glow, chartreuse, silver and pink wings creating literally hundreds of color combinations to experiment with.
The gray trout isn’t a trout at all, but rather a
 member of the char family. These impressive fish
 grow to exceptional size and may live for decades.
 This 30+ pounder was caught by the author’s
 nephew Jason Romanck while trolling a
 Yakima Spin n Glo behind a dodger. The Spin n Glo
 is considered trout candy by everyone who has fished them.

            For those who don’t own the gear it takes to troll for trout in deep water, jig fishing is another option. To jig up grays in deep water an angler will need a medium to medium heavy action spinning rod and reel combo set up with 10 to 15 pound test super braid terminated to a fluorocarbon leader in the 12 to 15 pound test range.
            An eight strand braid is recommended because this line spools onto a fishing reel much like monofilament. Other braids and fused lines are so soft and without body, the line tends to bunch up on the spool preventing the reel drag from functioning smoothly.
            A functioning drag is essential when a lake trout is hooked up. These fish are stubborn fighters and typically about half way to the surface they make a power run and streak back to bottom!
            Depending on the water depth, jigs in the 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, 1, 1.5, 2 and even 3 ounce range may be required. White or white and red bucktails are popular with trout jig fishermen, but a five inch soft plastic paddle tail is another good option. Many anglers tip their jigs with a small live sucker minnow to further entice trout into biting.
The gray trout or lake trout is abundant throughout
 it’s range and a strong fighting fish. The biggest
 disadvantage to targeting these fish is they
 are often found in very deep water.

            Most anglers who fish for lake trout simply drift and keep their jigs near bottom. If your boat is equipped with an electric motor it’s often better to drift until a fish is hooked, then use the electric motor to hover over top of the school.
            The MotorGuide Xi5 ( mounted to the bow of my boat has a “Anchor” feature that when engaged literally hovers the boat in one spot leaving my hands free to fish. Much better than trying to hover with a traditional electric motor or worse yet anchoring in deep water, this piece of equipment is invaluable for jig fishing applications.
            With the help of quality sonar, I can literally spot the fish near bottom, put the boat in “Anchor” mode and drop my jig right down to specific fish. I call this “see fish...catch fish” because it’s amazing how often I can spot an individual fish and then catch that fish with the help of sonar and an auto-pilot style electric motor!!
            Grays are one of those fish you can only catch in the north. These fish require cold, pristine waters and Ontario’s Algoma Country is at the top of the list when it comes to destinations teaming with hungry trout.


A Multi-Species Boat Built Right

The STX 2050 is a rocket ship on flat water and one of the best
 running hulls on rough water to ever grace the name Starcraft.

Mark Romanack

            For several consecutive years the Fishing 411 guys have been running the Starcraft STX 2050. Among anglers who appreciate the virtues of an aluminum Deep V for multi-species fishing applications, the STX 2050  stands head and shoulders above the competition.
            The STX is just over 20 feet in length, sports a 100 inch beam, an inside depth of 24 inches, a horsepower rating of 250 ponies and a whopping 52 gallon fuel tank.

            To those who know aluminum boats the dead rise on the STX is the first thing that jumps out as unique. The STX sports a very steep 19 degree dead rise at the transom, something rarely seen in aluminum boats. A steep dead rise tames waves like no other and in the case of the STX the “V” stretches forward past the console.
            The unique combination of dead rise and the length of the “V” allows the STX 2050 to run rough water better than any other aluminum boat in it’s class.

            The 19 degree dead rise of the STX is critically important to the performance of this multi-species hull, but another unique Starcraft feature is equally important in producing a superior performing fishing hull. The STX also features Starcraft’s exclusive Power Trac Hull, a reverse chine design that gives the STX lightning quick hole shots, exceptional hull lift and a rock stable fishing platform.
            Combining the Power Trac Hull with a 19 degree dead rise creates a hull that comes up on plane quickly even when the boat is fully loaded with fuel, passengers and gear. Once on plane the STX will run on plane at much lower RPM’s than other hulls because the reverse chine hull generates exceptional lift and control at low, mid-range and wide open RPM levels.
            The ability to run on plane at slower speeds is critical to a big water fishing boat that will be operating in all sorts of conditions from glass flat to towering big seas. Just about any aluminum boat will run nicely on flat water, but the real test of an aluminum fishing hull is how well that boat performs when running in rough water, quartering seas and running under a heavy load. The STX 2050 is the standard all other aluminum multi-species hulls are compared to.

            A great hull design must also be tough. The STX 2050 features a one piece bottom that is a whopping .125 or 1/8 inch thick. Starcraft’s one piece hull is significantly stronger than other brands that are welded or riveted at the keel.
            The hull is married to the super structure of the boat using a process called Torsion Beam Construction. All seams are double riveted creating an exceptionally tough hull that sports the best warranty in the business.
            The STX 2050 is protected by Starcraft’s exclusive LifeTime Plus 6 warranty that covers every inch of the boat. The decks, hull and super structure of the STX are covered under a limited LifeTime Warranty. Starcraft also provides a six year warranty on all carpets, upholstery, plumbing  and electronics. Even better this “industry best” warranty is also transferable to a second owner!
The Starcraft STX 2050 was designed by a talented group 
of walleye tournament professionals. What they created was not only
 the ultimate aluminum “walleye” boat, they created a 
fishing hull that is ideal for a wealth of fishing opportunities.

            The whopping 100 inch beam of the STX generates a huge amount of fishing room both at the bow and transom of the boat. The carpeted raised front deck houses three dry storage compartments, a baitwell and a lockable rod locker capable of holding a dozen full size trolling rods.
            Integrated storage is also built into the gunwale making for the perfect place to store frequently used items like in-line planer boards, buoy markers, dock lines, etc.
            The cockpit of the STX features heavy duty vinyl flooring, a four person seating capacity, a 31 gallon aerated and recirculated livewell/baitwell, plus four dry storage compartments built into the gunwales. Two extra deep battery boxes are built into the floor allowing the STX to carry three 31 group deep cycle batteries and two cranking batteries. Keeping these heavy batteries in the belly of the beast helps to keep the weight distribution of the STX centered amidship.
            Designed as a walleye tournament series boat, the STX is also the commensurate multi-species fishing platform. Ideal for all trolling, casting and drift fishing presentations, the STX also readily accepts critically important fishing accessories.
            Every STX comes factory supplied with four lengths of accessory track through bolted onto the gunwales ideal for mounting rod holders, electronics brackets and even heavy gear like downriggers.
Jake’s STX 2050 sports a very cool custom wrap,
 200 Evinrude G2, 9.8 Evinrude kicker motor,
 MotorGuide Xi5 electric motor and Lowrance electronics throughout.

            In summary what sets the STX 2050 apart from other aluminum boats is the one piece hull, the Power Trac “reverse chine” hull, the 19 degree dead rise and the .125 thick running surface. No other aluminum hull comes close to the performance features of the STX 2050.
            Not only does the STX set the standard for aluminum deep V multi-species boats, Starcraft is so confident in this boat it comes with the best warranty in the business. Anyone who has any doubt about the STX owes it to themselves to take one for a test ride and see for themselves what everyone is talking about.


Roll Your Own

Mark Romanack

One of the reasons the author likes to create his own
 spinner rigs is the ability to use premium blades,
 hooks, clevices and also leader materials that
 make for a better fish trap.
Like they say, if you want something done right, do it yourself. When it comes to creating spinner rigs suitable for walleye fishing, the factory tied versions on the market leave me cold much of the time. For better than 30 years I’ve taken pride in tying my own walleye spinners using premium hooks, lines, clevices and blades.
            The time spent making my own fishing rigs is enjoyable, but even better it’s a satisfying feeling reeling in a fish I caught on one of my own creations. I often tie spinners while watching a ball game to multi-task. My wife Mari even jumps into the act to make sure I’m color coordinating things as she sees fit!!
            Getting started tying your own spinner rigs starts by identifying the proper components. Most tackle shops and mail order houses sell spinner components including blades, beads, leader material, clevices and hooks. An investment of about $50.00 will set an angler up for producing as many quality spinner rigs.
            Walleye spinner rigs can be tied on a variety of leader materials. Ordinary monofilament line is an acceptable and affordable option. Select a hard surfaced line that has excellent abrasion resistance.
            Fluorocarbon is popular as a leader material for spinner fishing because this line type is nearly invisible in the water. Fluorocarbon also has great abrasion resistance qualities and it holds knots well.
            A few anglers use fused lines to tie spinner harnesses. The biggest problem with fused lines is they are soft and tangle easily. Should one of these rigs get tangled, there is little chance of salvaging the rig.
            Depending on the size of fish targeted leader material suitable for walleye fishing ranges from 10 to 15 pound test. Fluorocarbon can be purchased in leader wheels, saving money and making sure the line used for tying spinner rigs is fresh and in good shape.
            Tackle shops sell beads designed for tying rigs, but I prefer to buy my beads at a craft shop. Craft shops have a wider variety of beads and bead types and many more color options than routinely stocked at a tackle shop. Also, beads at a craft shop cost about one quarter of the price of the same ones sold at tackle stores!
            A clevice is the device that holds the blade on the leader allowing the blade to rotate. Some clevices are made from stamped metal, others folded metal and still others are formed from plastic. Metal clevices allow the blade to spin with the least amount of resistance and are superior for slow trolling and drifting applications.
            Plastic clevices are often configured to allow the blade to be removed without having to cut and re-tie the leader. This handy feature allows anglers to experiment with blade size, shape and color quickly. The leader in this category is a company called Quick Change Clevices and they are widely distributed at tackle shops everywhere.
            Plastic clevices come in two sizes, one for smaller blades and a second model for larger blades. Matching up the right size clevice to the proper blade is important to get good performance from these products.
            For walleye harnesses I favor a short shank style hook known as a “beak” or “octopus” hook. Similar in shape to an “egg” hook, but with a little longer shank, a No. 4 hook is a good all around choice. When targeting bigger walleye a larger No. 2 hook is the best option. For decades the Eagle Claw L1B has been the walleye rig hook all others are compared to. Other good choices include the Eagle Claw #226 and Lazer Sharp #L4.
            Ordinary bronze hooks are the standard for walleye spinner rigs, but red anodized hooks and also painted hooks are gaining in popularity. Many anglers feel that these brightly finished hooks help to attract fish.

The author loves to tie his own walleye spinner rigs and
 has been doing so for over 30 years. The satisfaction
 of catching fish on rigs you design yourself
 is part of what makes fishing such a rewarding hobby.
            The most popular blade type for walleye spinner fishing is hands down the Colorado blade. Colorado blades spin at slow speeds and give off a lot of flash and vibration. Sizes 2 and 3 are ideal for structure fishing applications and when fishing inland lakes. Larger No. 4 and 5 blades work better for targeting larger walleye or when fishing impoundments and the Great Lakes that produce bigger average sized fish.
            A good second option are Indiana style blades that are a little more oblong in shape. It takes a little more speed to get an Indiana blade spinning, but these blades work well in most walleye fishing situations for drifting and slow trolling.
            These days blades suitable for walleye spinner rigs come in every color and finish imaginable. When buying blades purchase them in groups of four to six blades per color. That way if a particular color starts producing you’ll have other blades of the same color to share.
            The best knot for tying walleye spinner rigs is known as the egg loop and anglers can quickly learn to tie this knot at a web page called The benefit of the egg loop knot is the hook can be placed precisely on the leader allowing the angler to space two or three hooks at exactly the desired distance from one another. Other snell  knots allow the hook to slide when the knot is tightened, making it tough to create uniform rigs.
            Tying spinner rigs is a lot of fun and these rigs are deadly when fishing walleye on bottom bouncer sinkers, slip sinker rigs, on three way swivel rigs or when trolling in open water using divers like the popular Off Shore Tackle Tadpole Diver.
            Once tied I like to store my spinner rigs in small plastic bags or wrap them up on a short chunk of foam made for insulating water pipes. One length of foam can be cut into about a dozen short leader wheels ideal for storing walleye spinner rigs.
            If tying your own spinner rigs isn’t an option, some of the best factory tied rigs are produced by Yakima Bait, known as the Hammer Time Walleye Spinner. The Fishing 411 team designed these spinners for Yakima based on the spinner rigs we have been tying for ourselves and catching fish on for decades.