Lund pro angler Mike Gofron is one of the winningest faces on the top walleye tournament circuits. He did it again in 2010 by claiming the Anglers Insight Marketing (AIM) Championship on Minnesota’s Lake Winnibigoshish.
That’s not all, he also claimed fourth and fifth place finishes, and his career consists of similar stories every year. What’s amazing is he has done it his own way. He learned the hard way – from the seat of his Lund boats. And, he did it on lakes with low to almost non-existent walleye populations. He grew up on the Fox Chain of Lakes in Antioch, Illinois, fishing every moment.
Last year, Mike captured those formative years and so much more in his first book, “My Story, A Walleye Expert Speaks.” Books may be ordered online at mikegofron.com. He credits his success today with those lessons where homework helped him take apart new waters. His discussions about finding and catching shallow water walleyes take the reader behind a set of eyes that peers intently at the same lake as everybody else, but sees it entirely differently.
Lund pro and Hall of Fame angler Al Lindner put it this way, “Mike’s overall performance speaks for itself. He is absolutely among the top of the top walleye anglers. He possesses an excellent set of skills combined with great instincts.” Al also viewed Mike’s character, saying, “What I admire most in Mike (and it’s a rarity) is his strong honor of other pro’s spots – and the space he gives other contestants. He has gained the respect of a very competitive peer groups by his actions on the water before and during tournaments.”
Mike worked for contractors through high school, and began his own excavating business at age 19. He has been his own boss ever since. When pondering his uncanny ability to find walleyes, those familiar with his background know his business has been built on details. On the water, he also pays attention to details that run through his computer brain, so that adjustments (fishing shallower or deeper, moving to the rocks, switching tactics from jigging to trolling, etc.) happen as naturally as if he had a board of directors sitting on his shoulders.
Another factor that leads to his success is the strong backing of his wife Tami and his support and presence of his kids at their school sports activities. He also bring his hard-work and detail-oriented philosophy to the court as a basketball coach. He is emulating his parents who attended nearly every walleye tournament he fished from New York to Montana and North Dakota to Arkansas. Family is a key and he talks to his kids every tournament morning before blast-off.
His stellar credentials in competitive walleye angling include the most top 10 finishes on the Professional Walleye Trail (a record), combined with three wins, a Championship, two Angler of the Year titles, a Top Gun winner and Sportsman of the Year honors. He placed in the money 69 percent of the time and won nearly $700,000 on the PWT tour alone. He has victories on the Chain Walleye series, the Masters Walleye Circuit and the Anglers Insight Marketing tour.
Some interesting quotes from Mike’s book follow:
“Walleyes can’t bite if you don’t give them the chance.”
“Why does it seem we work harder every day just to accomplish half of what we did as teens?”
“Never make the mistake of saying, ‘This is where I’ll go and this is what I’ll do.’”
“My favorite depths are six inches (yes inches) of water to eight feet.”
“What I learned on my own proved to be the guiding light.”
Mike’s insight is shared and “eaten up” by seminar crowds across the country. He is able to answer questions. He makes the mysteries of the walleye game understandable. When he shows up at a Lund dealership or a sport show, it will be worth the time to walk up and say “Hi.” If you start talking walleyes, it could be the first and last stop of your show. Be sure to ask why he loves his Lund. All the successes cited above have occurred from a Lund.