“Bro,” as he’s accepted to all, is a common academy speaker, fishing adviser and artefact apostle at ice shows, sports shows and promotional contest throughout the Ice Belt, including the St. Paul Ice Show, which began Friday, Dec. 1, and apprehension bottomward today at the St. Paul RiverCentre.
Bro, 50, of Max, Minn., in Itasca County, is an ice fishing innovator, whose name can be begin on articles alignment from rod-and-reel combos to panfish jigs. It’s a acumen and a akin of acceptance he doesn’t booty lightly.
“For me, it’s added than aloof actuality sponsored,” Brosdahl says. “For me, my name’s on the product; these accept my concepts in them and I appetite to appearance you why I did it, and I did it because I capital it for ice fishing.”
Brosdahl afresh talked ice fishing trends and techniques with Herald outdoors editor Brad Dokken. Here’s an edited archetype of that conversation.
Q. How’s the activity for ice fishing activity into the winter season?
A. I anticipate there’s added than anytime before. Everywhere I go, every store, I accept bodies stop and see what’s new, the latest in tackle, houses, electronics, underwater cameras, aloof the action of accepting out.
Q. What’s the fishing angle for this winter?
A. It’s activity to be absolutely good. I see annihilation but abundant things on the border as far as fishing. A lot of lakes throughout my breadth accept absolutely a few altered year-classes of walleyes and average perch. Everybody loves communicable branch and a lot of lakes accept some 9- to 10½ -inchers in them and the casual big one.
Q. How abundant does it bulk for a newcomer to get into ice fishing?
A. Beneath than $100. The aboriginal activity is you get a brazier and depending on breadth you get a bucket, you can get a brazier sometimes for beneath than $10. You can get a spud bar to blow a aperture through the ice if you’re absolutely activity for bald minimum.
Ice picks for assurance are $5 to $10; that should be aboriginal on the list.
Other than that, you’ll charge a spud bar, a bucket, a rod and reel combo, and as far as electronics, that’s article you can access later, but to get going, that’s not alike $100 yet. Everybody has balmy clothes; if you’re in bonfire orange or camo, oh well. And bait. And some of the combos accept band on them and again of advance a actual basal bulk is Northland Accouterment (one of his sponsors) because accouterment is one of the best bargain genitalia of activity fishing.
That’s all you need. And again you aloof charge the discipline to go.
It’s not like summer; it’s a lot cheaper.
Q. What does it bulk if you appetite to accessory up?
A. You can accept a Bro Series rod-and-reel combo, you can accept Northland Tackle, you can accept a Nils Master auger that you put in a cordless assignment that you already accept in your garage, and you can acquisition them aloof about anywhere.
As far as a angle house, if you’ve got kids, you don’t charge a big big-ticket angle house. You can get a pop up for absolutely inexpensive, about $200, and again accept a heater.
It’s article that you could alpha on a low end and again add to it.
You can get an Aqua Vu (underwater camera) with a cleanup reel for a little over $300. And you can get a abyss finder, too. And you don’t charge flashers; you can aloof booty a abyss finder off your baiter in the summertime. If you got a Humminbird, they accomplish a shuttle that you can put it on and backpack it on the ice.
And let’s say they go and buy a Helix 7 (depthfinder), and they buy an Aqua-Vu, they buy a absolutely nice Frabill abode or a Nils Master auger and a brazier and combos, you’re still alone into the ice fishing arena about $1,500, and you’ve got aggregate that exists.
Q. Obviously, the contempo tragedy on Upper Red, in which two bodies drowned while ice fishing, is on abounding people’s minds. What admonition do you accept for blockage safe on aboriginal ice?
A. We don’t charge legislation or added rules, but it would be nice if bodies had to accept ice picks and activity preservers. You don’t see anybody with them.
The DNR and the Coast Guard crave activity jackets in accessible baptize but not on the ice. It’s simple but this is actual sad; we’re absolute sad to apprehend that this happened.
We consistently acquaint bodies to accept the ice picks, we acquaint bodies to accept flotation. There accept been abounding tragedies in the time that I’ve ice fished in my life, and best of it is afterwards assurance gear.
Q. You’ve done some videos in contempo weeks assuming you blockage ice on baby lakes. It’s not aloof active about on the ice, is it.
A. I go to aboriginal ice lakes—I alarm them the abate swamps that accept angle in them—and I break abroad from big water. But back I go, I acquaint everybody aboriginal ice is a lot of work. Back you absolutely go on aboriginal ice, you accept to assignment the accomplished way out there with assurance precautions and admeasurement with a band measure. Booty the adjudicator out of your boat, angle it at the basal of the ice and admeasurement to the baptize surface. That gives you a authentic estimate; don’t adjudge because everybody guesses wrong.
When I went out, the recommended bulk of ice (for walking) is 4 inches of solid, bright ice, which is the arch ice there is. That’s what I go out on, and I don’t booty risks
It’s a continued winter so there’s affluence of time.
Q. Why has ice fishing become so popular?
A. I would say effectiveness. It’s user friendly. Everybody that goes catches something, it seems. I don’t accept the percentages but I anticipate 70 percent of panfish are bent in the winter.
People are acumen it’s not about actuality apparent to the elements. In the winter, you ascendancy your abundance akin with houses and heaters.
It’s added of a amusing affair. You can feel it; it’s a amusing activity with ice fishing, and I anticipate that’s allotment of the advance of it.
And ice fishing is a action breadth you can get in cheaply and booty the accomplished family. That’s why the action is so accepted and it’s growing. It’s the one fishing action that’s been growing and is still growing.
Ice brings out the close kid. It absolutely does.
Q. What’s the better demographic?
A. I would say all altered ranges of incomes, but it seems like bodies with added money go south and accept abyssal tans, and bodies who are abstinent to average chic accept ice fishing tans (laughs) and I’m one of them.
Q. What’s new this year in agreement of gear?
A. I anticipate afterglow is huge on the map, and tungsten (a metal that’s added than lead) jigs are accepted as ever.
In electronics, added authentic ambition break and GPS is huge, so now you’ve got a map on the basin and it shows breadth you’re at on the lake. You can booty your GPS with mapping technology, go out to the atom you would commonly angle in the summer and you can map your own basin and go out and angle it in the winter and be the alone being with that map because you took time and collection about (in accessible water).
Another big trend you’re activity to see is bikes on the ice. There’s a aggregation that’s authoritative brindled bike tires. I don’t anticipate they did it accurately for ice fishing, but it’s a account for ice fishing and agilely it’s been communicable on.
Q. How abounding afar are you logging during this winter’s promotional season?
A. I started in Bright Lake, Iowa, which was aperture of Minnesota burglarize season, and again I’ve been activity anytime since. This year’s schedule, I fabricated abiding to agency in some times to get out fishing.
This year, I’m apperception afterpiece to home with the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana are my focus. That is 80 percent of the ice sales.
I’ve already been in the Dakotas absolutely a bit, Minnesota, the Twin Cities and I’ll be branch to Wisconsin and again in January, Michigan.
It will wind bottomward but not end at Christmas, and again afterwards Christmas, I’ll be allegorical and fishing and accomplishing blur shoots on the ice.
Q. Any admired fishing destinations for this winter?
A. Basin of the Woods ability accept its downs already in awhile, but I was out there this summer. Back I was attractive for fish, I apparent angle out in the mud for afar and afar and miles. That looks like a absolute advantageous fishery.
I consistently adore Devils Lake. I’ll go to Devils Basin because you do accept a adventitious to bolt a behemothic football perch, and walleyes up there are as abiding to appear as the wind blows. And again about about the Waubay (S.D.) area,
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