Mark Romanack

Anyone who has fished for chinook salmon in Michigan waters since 2012 has no doubt witnessed a dramatic decline in the numbers of these impressive fish. The steady decline of chinook salmon numbers in Michigan has been directly influenced by steadily declining stocking efforts of these fish.

River run salmon can be caught a number of ways, but the author feels that fishing spawn below a float is the most productive way to boat these fish day-in and day-out.

            The Michigan DNR Fisheries Division made a conscious effort to reduce stocking efforts on chinook in response to trawling reports that suggested the alewife forage base of Lake Michigan was on the bridge of collapse. A similar collapse of the alewife population in Lake Huron occurred some years ago and for reasons no one seems to be able to pinpoint the alewife numbers in Lake Huron have never recovered.

            So for anglers who covet chinook salmon the years since 20...

The dead of winter hardly seems the time to be thinking about planning an open water walleye adventure. Actually, winter is the perfect time to do the research it requires to find fisheries other anglers have not discovered.

Lake Nipigon is huge and offers almost unlimited rocky shorelines ideal for pitching walleye jigs.

            When most anglers in Michigan think about planning a trip to Ontario they are most likely focusing on fly-in fishing adventures. Some of the best fishing found in North America takes place in Ontario at countless fish camps only available by float plane.

            As someone who has experienced fly-in fishing camps in every corner of Ontario, I can say these adventures rank among my favorite fishing memories. The sound of a De Havilland Beaver or Otter float plane warming up prior to departure has a resonance that can’t be described, it must be experienced.


Back in September, the Fishing 411 TV crew traveled to a world class smallmouth fishing destination few anglers are aware of. Ironically, this destination isn’t a remote wilderness trip, a fly-in camp or even one of those trips you have to drive for many hours to reach.


            We visited an area along the North shore of Lake Huron known as the Whaleback region. Named for the arching rocks that stick out of the water and resemble a breaching whale, the Whaleback is located near the town of Spanish, Ontario.

            Spanish, Ontario is located about an hour and a half east of Sault Ste., Marie on Highway 17. Our base camp was Waterfalls Lodge, located just a couple minutes out of Spanish.


            When traveling and fishing in this area of Ontario we often stay at Waterfalls Lodge for a number of reasons. Lodging is available in both cabin rentals and...

Across Ontario there are literally thousands of lakes and rivers teaming with walleye, pike, trout and more. An avid angler can spend a lifetime trying to fish all these bodies of water and never come close to experiencing even a fraction of the world class fishing destinations Ontario has to offer.

            I know this first hand because I’ve spent the better part of my fishing career traveling to every corner of Ontario. While my travels have taken me north, south, east and west in Ontario, to say I’ve seen it all would be an understatement. What I have experienced ranks as some of the best fishing in North America.

Outfitter and master fishing guide Chad Thompson of Pasha Lake Cabins has access to some of the best fishing in North America. Besides being intimately knowledgeable about Lake Nipigon, guests who visit Pasha Lake Cabins have access to over 100 different lakes in the region. Walleye, lake trout, northern pike, whitefish a...

            At Fishing 411 TV boats come and boats go. Every year our team rigs new boats which are in turn displayed at the winter boat/sport/fishing shows. Those same boats are then the focal point of our spring, summer and fall filming efforts. Come winter, those boats are put on the market and new ones are rigged to start the process all over again.

The 1866 Sportsman is a versatile boat. This particular model can be rigged with either a prop drive or jet drive outboard making it ideal for a wealth of fishing situations.


            In my long-standing career as a media guy I’ve owned nearly 40 different fishing boats. I’ve said many times over the years that I don’t get too emotionally attached to fishing boats. That’s only partly true, because some boats do get me excited.

            A few years back I took a shine to a utility boat known as the St...

            At Fishing 411, spring is my favorite season. In a typical year there are so many places to fish and so many species to target, we as a TV production crew can’t even scratch the surface.

            Case in point, to date this spring I’ve fished the Detroit River, Lake Erie, Milwaukee Harbor, Lake Ontario, Green Bay, the Niagara River, Benton Harbor and Grand Traverse Bay. For every place our TV crew has visited, there are two or three others we want to visit and just can’t find the time.

            In short, spring is a productive time of year for fishing because almost everything with fins is biting in April and May. The down side to Spring fishing is the unstable weather that often spoils the fun. The spring of 2019 will go down as one of the worst when it comes to bad weather and bad fishing conditions.

Usually in April the...

Back when I started fishing professionally over 30 years ago, walleye fishing was a little different. Yes, there were walleye way back then and no they did not swim with dinosaurs!

            One of the presentations that routinely produced fish in those days was a technique known as “tipping” a wobbling plug. Tipping is the process of adding one or two inches of nightcrawler to either the belly or tail treble hook on a wobbling plug. Tipping presents a scent stream in the water and a little different action or look to the bait.

Talk about ole school, this Spring Frog FlatFish is not only an ole school bait it’s an ole school color choice as well. Mark, pictured here with this dandy walleye, on the other hand is just old!


            Back in the day, tipping was hugely popular and yet today I can’t remember the last time I witnessed anyone else doing it. Strange how times and fi...

The lipless crankbait is hardly the new kid on the block, but for walleye anglers these lures are just starting to make a splash. Classic lipless crankbaits like the Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap or Cotton Cordell Super Spot have been catching bass for decades. Most often used for fishing among submerged wood or aquatic weeds, the lipless design of these crankbaits allows them to fish through cover with amazing efficiency.

Lipless crankbaits are making a big splash among walleye anglers these days. Once thought of as a “bass lure” lipless baits do a great job of triggering strikes from walleye like this.


            Not only do lipless crankbaits fish well in cover, they produce a lot of vibration and rattling noise in the water. Bass fishermen reach for these baits not only when fishing in cover, but when faced with stained and off color water.

            Walleye fishermen are arguably late to the party when i...

Anyone can fish walleye in a river system, but only a select group of anglers are routinely successful in flowing water. Rivers comes with a complete set of fishing issues. Namely, maintaining boat control in moving water comes with some challenges.

Jake Romanack of Fishing 411 TV holds a typical river walleye caught vertical jigging

in the upper St. Clair River.


             In part, boat control when fishing is rivers is challenging because the variables are constantly changing. In the early morning typically the winds are light and keeping a boat working in synch with the anglers aboard is fairly straight forward. As the sun comes up, so does the wind and suddenly a boat that was easy to control is now cascading downstream like a runaway kite.

            Because the wind can come from any direction, boat control becomes a constantly changing chore. Boat control is complicated by how the wind drif...

At Fishing 411 we believe that little things make a big difference in fishing success. It’s the refinements associated with fishing that often separate the average fisherman from those who are consistently successful.

The author believes firmly in tackle matching his rods and reels to enjoy the best balance and function from his gear.

            Tackle matching is one of those refinements I have been preaching for decades. When trolling and even for jigging and casting applications, I strongly feel that anglers who equip themselves with balanced and matching rods and reels are going to be consistently more successful. This is precisely why many manufacturers of rods and reels create tackle series that are designed to make it easier for anglers to match up the right rods and reels for specific fishing presentations.


            A good place to start this discussion is with line counter style trolling reels. Most angl...

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Mark Romanack

PO Box 317

Tustin, MI 49688

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