The following articles were authored by N1P

2018 Kids on Ice

Wow, what a great Saturday.   Big thanks to our Sponsors K&E Stopper Lures, Al & Bob’s Sports, Schnitz Deli, and Joppie from the Grillin Guys for cooking.

With over 50 kids, the guys and I had a great time setting up the kids and teaching them some basics of Ice Fishing.   Even the little brothers and sisters some of them brought along had a great time.   We were able to send all our donated equipment home with future master anglers.  We even had patches for all the scouts that attended!  Any of you that missed out – stay tuned we will be planning another one in Feb 2019!    Oh, here look at all the fun!

Sponsored by

2018 Stormy Kromers

So you have admired our hat for years.   Now you can buy one right from Stormy Kromer.   Click here to get yours.


Youth Ice Fishing Day

Feb 10, 2018    Noon   Reeds Lake  744 Lakeside Drive, East Grand Rapids, MI

Fishing at 42.949177, -85.608602     Map

Join the MI Ice Guys as we host members of several scout troops and other interested youths. All youths must be accompanied by a parent or grandparent. Please dress them to be warm and dry. We will have equipment for those that do not have their own. Snacks and Hot Dogs will be provided on the ice. FREE

Register here

Check out the event on Facebook



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Ice Safety

It is that time of the year to talk about ice safety.   I know it is eating at me to get out there too, but you don’t want an unexpected swimming lesson.

If you take some time to be smart and prepared, your trip will be a lot dryer and more comfortable.

  1. Take a spud.  I know we have all switched to power augers but nothing beats a couple hard whacks with your ice spud to verify the thickness will support not only your weight but that of your gear as well.   It can also serve as a backup to your auger or for reopening old holes.
  2. Anti Slip.  I wear Kahtoola Micro Spikes, but you can get a pair for $20-$80 depending on brand and quality.   Not only do they help prevent falls but those near falls that seem to hurt almost as bad.   Also when climbing lake side embankments and icy parking lots.   I often use mine when clearing the snow and ice packed walks.
  3. Floating Suit.  I know a lot of the guys say that their old barn jacket and bibs are fine and keep them warm, but have you ever got a pair wet?   They suck up water like a Shamwow!  They get heavy, not what I want if I do go for an icy swim.   Modern ice suits not only provide excellent wind and thermal protection, but they also keep you afloat.   Keeping near the surface is a requirement for any kind of self rescue.   And yes we have tested them in warm water to be sure.
  4. Picks.  If you do go through, grabbing ice with cold wet hands isn’t the easiest thing to do.  A set of these picks go for less than $15 in most shops.  However having them zipped up in some pocket or tucked away s not going to be as easy as running them down each sleeve and across your back.   Especially on early ice I like to have them sticking out my sleeves or tucked in the cuffs.  Being able to get to them quickly is an extremely important part of self rescue.
  5. Throw Rope.  When I was a kid fishing with my grandfathers, they always told me that if you had to get a guy out of the water to lay down on the ice and reach out with the auger and pull them up.  Well I agree with the lay down and spread you weight out concept, but my auger is way sharper than Gramps had and it is hooked to a power drill.   So without getting into the images of spinning razor sharp blades, I carry a throw rope.   I made my own.   Took a small nylon bag and put a grommet in the bottom.   I thread a 1/4in rope through the grommet and put a knot on each side.   Tuck the remainder of about 25ft of line into the bag and close the draw string.  With a carabiner on each end it is an easy toss across the hole for that unfortunate buddy who is flailing his arms to grab.   Of course you can go buy one too.
  6. Dry Clothes.  I keep a duffle in the truck all winter with fleece pants, jacket and dry socks packed for that cold day when I get surprised.   Glad to say it has been almost 6 years since I learned the lesson that cold dry jeans don’t pull on very easy over wet legs.  If it happens you will need to change, so just be ready, hypothermia can set in before you can get the truck warmed up and drive home.
  7. Don’t Go Alone.  It is always better to have someone to chat with while fishing, but if you do go in you will be looking for all the help you can get to get out.  So maybe you should get your best fishing buddy a throw rope for christmas and share the link to this post.


Recently my friend Steve Kelly from Wood Radio called and said come in and talk about ice safety.   So here is a link to the Facebook Live video.

Some other items I like to bring.

  • Whistle
  • Spare dry gloves
  • Spare knit hat
  • Hand warmer packs
  • Snacks
  • Pool Chemical Bucket with a screw top lid to keep spare gear dry.

Ice Map back up

Well someone at the all mighty Google decided to depreciate some functions in the map API.   (For those of you that don’t program, they disabled the toys I was using to make the map work).

Fear not, after a week of rewriting we are back up and posting Ice Thicknesses!     Check out the Ice Map and contribute so we know where it is safe to walk on water.

Check it out, then report where you checked the ice

D&R Sports Ice Show 2017

FREE ADMISSION! Two days of free seminars by champion pro ice anglers and factory reps on hand to answer all of your questions.

  • Saturday December 2nd 10am – 4pm
  • Sunday December 3 10am – 4 pm

See the latest in fish finders and underwater cameras by: Vexilar, Humminbird, Marcum, and Showdown. Check out the latest in high tech clothing from Clam, Frabill, and Striker. All of the hottest ice lures by: Akara, Clam, Fiskas, Hali, Scandia, Northland, and many more!

Seminar Schedule:

Saturday December 2nd, 2017

  • 10:00 a.m. – Chas Thompson
  • 11:30 a.m. – Ross Robertson
  • 1:00 p.m. – Brandon Stanton
  • 2:30 p.m. – Jake Romanack

Sunday December 3rd, 2017

  • 11:00 a.m. – Brandon Stanton
  • 12:30 p.m. – Chas Thompson
  • 2:00 p.m. – Dave Slager

Ginger Gill Stew

Cold rainy fall days prompted me to use the last of the frozen fillets before we get back on ice this winter.

A hearty stew came to mind.   So I started out building one.   I grabbed my big white dutch oven and softened some onions and garlic in oil over pretty high heat.

As soon as the onions were transparent, I added some fish stock, about 5 cups.   If you don’t have any home made fish stock, you can use store bought clam or shrimp stock.   As that heated up I put in a small can of diced tomatoes and a small can of tomato paste.  Shred up about half a cup of fresh leek and add with a dry white wine – a cup or so.

Season up with basil, thyme, black pepper, dash of salt and diced ginger root, then bring to a boil.

Let it boil, while stirring for 3-4 min cover and turn heat down to low for 20 min.   Add 20-25 thawed bluegill fillets and kill the heat.    Let sit for 5-10 min and check it out.

Mine was a hit!

Watch the weigh in Live

Live Video Feed on Facebook Now   Click here

Kids on Ice

One of the most fun thing is t pass on the tribal knowledge of ice fishing to the next generation.  Over the last couple weeks we had a blast teaching kids to fish.   One Saturday it was the kids from the D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s Home.    They have there own Adventure Lady  that takes the kids out to see the world around them.   Chas met up with them in 2016 at the Grand Rapids Steelheaders meeting.   They were giving the kids fishing poles and asked if MI Ice Guys could help out with some lures.    A big bag of K & E Stopper jigs rounded out the donation, but 2016 ice was gone by the time the MI Ice Guys returned from Ukraine.  So the first saturday in Feb some 20 kids got to experience ice fishing.

On the second Saturday of Feb 25+ Cub Scouts joined us on the ice.    Steph had the AquaView camera out, Joppie from the Grillin Guys Radio Show brought a Grill and our sponsors came through with some great donations to make sure every kid had a bucket, jigs and a rigged pole!   Mrs. T (Chas’ mom) even embroidered up patches so these future addicts of hardwater fishing will always remember fishing and eating hot dogs with the MI Ice Guys.


We even had one family come from Ionia to join in on the fun.   After we got the boys and some of the moms catching fish,  settled down to practice some palm rod.    I got into some 6 inch perch and was hitting them about 1 every 30 sec.    One of the biggest things was trying to keep the boys from walking on my line when I threw the rod.

Check out the some pics below from our adventure with the boys.

MI Ice Guys host MI Practice for USA Ice Team

Even though Anthony is not traveling with us overseas this year he did come up with a great event with Chad.   The NAIFC tournament was canceled last weekend, so he and Chad went out and found a great lake just north of GR that was full of small fish.   The goal was to have a practice to put some pressure on the USA Ice guys that came out.   He invited Past, present and some future team members to have a palm rod throwdown!

Chas and Steph served as officials and were able to practice some spotting techniques as the games were held.

Myron Gilbert, the fishing legend  from Brooklyn, MI, whipped the boys in shape in the first round of first angler to 24 fish.   He had many words of wisdom for the younger guys who didn’t keep up to the 2 time NAIFC Champ.

The Second round was a timed round where our hot prospect Keith Kniffen from Eaton Rapids, MI, quickly took a lead in the shallower water we had moved to.    As anglers caught a fish they showed it to Steph or Chas to be counted and then released.    Chas called Keith’s name so often another competitor mentioned he was tired of hearing that name.

After a bit of Schmohz IPA that Chas brought, the third round in much deeper water.   Chad Schaub got his game on and showed the guys how it was done.   With a bit of a twist the fish were at 5-6 ft in 30+ feet of water.

We all had an awesome time and the guys got some great practice for next week in Latvia.   Mike Bodecker even came over with Myron to help coach the guys.  Bo is a master of fishing.  It was really great to hear the experiences of a double World Gold Medalist!