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Chas Checks in from Latvia

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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!


2017 WIFC – Rīga, Latvia

Well the countdown is getting close for Steph, Chas and Chad to head over to O’Hare (ORD) and meet up with the rest of the team.  We will be flying through Frankfurt Germany (FRA).  Just over 8 hours = nap time.   We are scheduled to land in Germany at 7:25 AM.    We have 2.5 hours to find breakfast beers and a bite before our next leg  FRA – RIX  that should take about 2 hours.    The guys who were able to advance fish last month tell us it is about 15 min to the hotel.    They tell us 20-30 min depending on traffic to the lake.  And most importantly the ice is great.

Check out the official website

Also make sure to subscribe to  at the bottom to stay in touch.

During the trip we will be posting a lot of our information over on our private subscription site.    Consider donating, to help offset the costs of travel that we incur.



2016 Ukrain Video

Check out the video Kelly compiled of our competition in Ukraine last year here 

Palm Rods

Over the weekend I was asked by a number of people about palm rods.   So here are a number of youtube videos I dug up to show you the basics.

Many of you also asked about practicing. Grab a gallon glass jar or glass beer pitcher and fill it with water.  If you learn what the jig is doing by watching the jig in the water, you will be able to duplicate it when you get out on the ice.

Flasher Batteries

Every year it seems one of my batteries for the flasher goes down.   Won’t take a charge.   Time to replace it.   You have options.  Most of us carry a unit on a hopper bucket, so the physical size can vary a bit.  If you are using the plastic carrier that came with the flasher, you might need to bust out the tape measure if you are going to go the economical route.

You just need to look at the Amp Hours.    Most of the links above are for 9ah batteries.   They will last you 2-3 trips before needing to be charged.   You can save some money going to a 7ah battery, but you will need to charge it more often.

Now Steph and I carry spare batteries.  As I said before physical size is not that big of a deal in the hopper bucket.   The battery is in the big bucket on the botton that the hopper rig is hooked to, while the smaller bucket, on top, holds your catch.

I don’t recommend putting the spare in the hopper bucket, if you choose to carry one, but in a spare dry bucket in your sled.    My Dry Bucket has saved me many times.  poolbucket

  • Spare Batteries
  • Dry Gloves
  • Extra Hat
  • Extra lures and baits
  • Hand warmer packs
  • Lunch

If you know a friend who buys their pool chemicals at a warehouse store, they often come in buckets with screw on lids.   Perfect for staying dry in all weather.  Buy them a six pack of beer and they will save them up for you and your fishing pals.

NEW – Skandia Tungsten Tear Drops!

That’s right, Skandia now has a NEW line of Tungsten Tear Drop Ice Jigs.  These great Tear Drops come in size 10 & 12 and in eight great fish catching colors.  We’ve been hearing for some time now that anglers wanted a Tungsten Tear Drop and Skandia now offers such an item.   These Tear Drop jigs will be a huge hit with the anglers and an even bigger hit with the fish.  Tip them with livebait or your favorite plastic and see what happens.  Panfish are sure to love the new heavy weight Tear Drop and so will you.  So next time you’re at your favorite sporting goods store be sure to ask for the NEW Skandia Tungsten Tear Drops, you’ll be glad you did…..


Does Lure Color Really Matter?