1. We lost Mark Bissler of Garmin…
…car crash at just 31 years old. Ugh. He was a Marine and part of Operation Iraqi Freedom 2009-2010. As the marine pro-staff field specialist, he helped Garmin pros rig and fix their stuff. RIP fishing brother.
2. TTI Blakemore prez Wes Campbell passes on.
Sounds like of natural causes at the age of 65. Believe Blakemore is mostly known for its Road Runner underspins that are still a sneaky-good option for plucking walleyes out of the weeds. And his dad (John Campbell) invented the Tru-Turn hook in 1958.
3. KY/OH: Apparently fish don’t like bourbon….
> Jim Beam was fined $600K [in Dec] after a July warehouse fire sent a nearly 23-mile plume of alcohol into the KY and OH rivers, killing fish.
> The July 3 fire was started when lightning struck a massive barrel warehouse near the Woodford-Franklin County line. About 40,000 barrels of aging whiskey were destroyed, with the runoff pouring into nearby Glenns Creek and then downstream into the rivers.
Of course a huge bummer for all, but definitely appreciate this comment from an owner:
> “While we were able to minimize impacts to the surrounding environment and wildlife…we recognize the regrettable and unavoidable impacts of the incident and have been committed to doing what we can to restore the environment. That includes making payments to the state to compensate for time spent, resources utilized and costs to supplement the local fish population.”
4. Lake Erie predicted to be 80% ice covered by late Feb.
One of those bucket-list places where if it has fishable ice (doesn’t every year) folks drop everything and go.
> Across all five Great Lakes, the administration forecasts a 47% freeze, below the 55.7% long-term average but well above the 9.5% coverage in 2002, the lowest amount recorded since record keeping began in 1973.
5. MN: Walleye derby donates $63K to charities.
The Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic is a live-release walleye tourney held each year on Lake Bemidji and Lake Irving. The 100 teams compete for $50K+ in cash and prizes — even if you don’t catch any fish, everyone’s a winner ‘cuz:
> “Over a 19-year tournament history, the Kraus Anderson/Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic has distributed a total of $820,250 [!] to community causes….
> “The funds were earned through tournament entry fees, sponsorships, donations and the annual raffle sponsored by Ray’s Marine/Lund/Mercury.”
The tourney’s 20th anniversary will be happenin’ Jun 13 on Lake Bemidji.
6. MN: Brainerd $150K Ice Extravaganza moving forward.
The contest is set for Jan 25. There’s currently only about 12″ of an ice + frozen slush combo in Hole in the Day Bay…usually needs to be 16″+ of solid ice for the Sheriff’s Office to grant a permit. The good news:
> “…Gull Lake was not froze over when we got that big Thanksgiving storm. …a lot of lakes in the area that were frozen got that snow and it pretty much wrecked them — Gull Lake didn’t take that hit. …there’s hardly any snow on the lake.”
Keep you posted as we hear updates.
7. MI: Ultimate Fishing Show happenin’ Jan 9-12.
At 7-acres big, it’s supposed to be the largest fishing show in the US.
8. Aqua-Vu has a new owner.
Kolt Ringer, a former fishing guide and president of MN’s Student Angler Tournament Trail. I’ve met him briefly a couple of times at different charity fishing derbies and kid’s events. You gotta appreciate this priority:
> Kolt: “Kids today have been brought up in the ‘screen generation.’ There’s no better learning tool for a young angler than an underwater camera. A depthfinder can only show you so much, but put an Aqua-Vu in front of a kid and watch them light up. It’s pure enjoyment, but also a great way to help these future anglers learn fish behaviors and how they react to lures.”
9. SIMMS has a new CMO.
Chief marketing officer = Strick Walker. Comin’ over from Merrell and was at Patagonia before that.
10. ND: Devils Lake ice conditions lookin’ primo.
As of last week: Main basin had 15-18″…Alice, Irving and Dry lakes had 18″.
Tanner Cherney’s been taking advantage of the conditions — texted me a snap of this THICK razorback he caught last night on a “super-glo goldfish” color Northland Buck-Shot Spoon:
Little jelly (lol) but super happy for you dude!
11. MN: Silver carp found in SW part of the state…
…for the first time.
14. Evinrude’s launching a new 150hp “power” tiller.New E-TEC G2 Power Tiller has integrated power steering assist, and digital shift and throttle:
> “…our power tiller doesn’t require accessory power steering kits, additional batteries or recharging systems.
> “…has zero steering torque feedback…. …Touch Troll push-button operation for setting trolling speed….”
15. New Yamaha outboard promotion.
16. Merc’s got a deal going on, too.
17. MI: Background of the $50-mil Rouge River sediment cleanup.
18. Fishing can help trim your waistline in 2020?
Pretty interesting read for any of you taking a shot at the keto, paleo or Atkins diets. The write-up talks about some of the nutritional facts of eating specific fish or wild game.
I’m on a whopping day #3 of keto…only putting this here (publicly) to help hold myself accountable. Gotta cut out all those pizza and beer runs after a day on the ice and swap ’em for a fish dinner instead….
Weirdly enough, I legit used to lose weight in the winter thanks to chasing backcountry ‘gills — nowadays my fishing time is usually a lot closer to home or maybe cozied-up in some sort of track machine lol.
Wishin’ you fish-heads success both on and off the water, whatever your 2020 goals may be.