Ryan Weiland | WI
Where do you hail from: I grew up in Central Wisconsin (Stratford to be exact) and loved to open water and ice fish from a very young age. My father and grandfather got me started in fishing. They took me fishing every chance they got; both on the ice and in the boat. I credit them for building my fire for fishing. I moved to Minocqua, WI in 2013 and absolutely love the vast amount of lakes in the area and the challenges the diversity from lake to lake provides.
Industry associations: Fish Addictions
Preferred fishing and/or target species: In the winter my target species, nearly 100% of the time, is panfish. I love chasing Crappies and Bluegills through the ice. The chess match of locating and jigging up big crappies and bull bluegills through the ice is the reason I love hardwater fishing so much. My ultimate favorite ice fishing technique is searching out large, deep basins for suspended crappies. Although challenging, locating these suspended fish can provide some unreal days on the ice!
Where do you like to fish: I’m addicted to my ‘home water’ of Oneida and Vilas county. We don’t have ‘destination’ lakes like many places, but we make up for it with sheer numbers of diverse lakes. In the morning you can be on the ice fishing in 40 feet of water for suspended crappies and in the afternoon be fishing in 6 feet of water for weed line bluegills. The variety and number of different lakes to research and learn is never ending, and I love fishing new water both on the ice and from the boat!
Tips for catching your favorite species: Spend time in Fall (or any time during open water really) preparing for ice season. Side imaging is one of my most important ice fishing tools, even though it only works on the boat. Spend the time cruising around new lakes or new water looking for isolated structure that might be otherwise untouched. You can very quickly eliminate water and stack-up waypoints for ice season, even on lakes you’ve never fished. This saves you from wasting time on the ice and makes you a much more efficient and productive ice angler!
Memorable story or experience: Every ice season is an awesome experience for me. I love ice season because it allows me to get large groups of family out fishing all at once. That isn’t easy from a boat. On the ice, we can fish in large groups as a family and enjoy the company and family time while having a blast catching fish. Those days never get old and I cherish every one of those opportunities. Ice season is also a great time to get kids hooked on fishing! Some of my earliest fishing experiences were with my dad on the ice and I did nothing but look at fish on the underwater camera. However, being able to watch the fish while my dad jigged them and then being able to reel them in hooked me for life.
How you measure success: I measure success by sharing the sport with others instead of measuring it by catching fish. We all want to catch big fish and numbers of fish, no doubt about it. But, the reason I’m driven to working in the industry is for things like ice shows and opportunity to get others that otherwise wouldn’t fish much out in the boat or on the ice. Helping others catch fish, and seeing the look on their face when they do, is truly my driver for working in the industry. At the same time, getting a chance to talk with other anglers at shows and share tips with them while also learning how they catch fish is a blast. I look forward to show season each year.
Why team up with Striker Ice: Safety would be number one. No ice is safe ice, I’ve seen that too many times. Being able to put on a Striker Ice Suit and the peace of mind that comes with it each trip out on the ice is a no-brainer in my mind. Versatility would be the second. Foul weather apparel, especially ice gear, is beyond critical to being able to put in the time it takes to be successful. The Striker Ice Climate Suit is my absolute favorite Striker product. The removable liner allows me to adjust to the weather. I can keep the liner in when its -20 mid-winter and not be confined to a shack all day. At the same time, I can remove them and be comfortable in Spring / Fall from the boat when its 40 degrees. That versatility makes the suit a 3 season product compared to ‘only’ an ice suit. I don’t just like Striker Ice gear, I rely on it for comfort in the ice and on the boat. From layering gear, to gloves, to the Storm Boss Rain Suit, all the way up to the aforementioned Climate Suit; my Striker ICE gear keeps me comfortable and prepared for any weather 12 months out of the year.