Category: article

 Mar 7th, 2012 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Mar 7th, 2012 at 2:41 PM

When looking at ‘Who’s Hot’ on the AIM Professional Walleye Series, one name stands out—Mike Gofron. When Mike talks walleye, people listen. Mike is from Antioch, IL. He is currently the AIM all-time money winner and tied with professional angler Robert Blosser of Poynette, WI for top finishes in the series.  Mike is a WALLEYE FISHING MACHINE.


Mike has achieved almost every award known to the Walleye World. Not only is he a consistent tournament angler, he’s just an all around great guy.  Behind Mike’s warm smile is a personality to match.  He is one of the top “go to” anglers whenever you have a question concerning….well almost anything. Professional walleye anglers and co-anglers love learning from Mike because they know he’s consistent, honest and easy to talk too.

A few years ago Mike was asked to describe how he prepared for a tournament.  His reply was that he starts with homework even before he leaves his house.  He usually spends time searching the World Wide Web for maps and he makes sure he has a Navionics chip for that particular body of water.  He likes to know if the water has fluctuated at all the week prior to a tournament and he may try to speak with people at the local bait shops or check prior tournaments to see what to expect of the fishery.  When Mike finally gets to go “fishing”, sometimes he doesn’t even fish the first day out.  He uses his Lowrance units and does a lot of graphing to locate the walleye, bait fish depth, clarity and water temps.  Mike then takes all of his learned information and makes a plan.  Mike notes that the smallest of details are critical throughout practice.  He also says, “Perfect practice makes perfect fishing.”

Mike recently wrote a book on how he got started fishing.  It’s pretty inspiring to read about this young boy who grew up loving the outdoors.  His book is titled “My Story” and it takes you through his early years when he literally taught himself how to fish, hunt and trap the old fashioned way. The book is available for purchase on his website www.mikegofron.com.



Mike’s love of the outdoors never wavered.  He worked hard then and he continues to work hard now.  Once a young boy who had a passion and a dream….now Mike is a man who lives that dream-filled-passion! 
Another example of how Mike Gofron keeps himself on the top of his game is his web site endeavor with Professional Angler Scott Duncan. Together these two anglers have started a site that has a ton of information and videos for beginner and experienced walleye anglers.  www.WalleyeWorkshop.com features “How To” videos. Each video details topics like how to rig your boat, installing trolling motors, trolling & starting batteries, installing, electronics, using the electronics and much, much more.


Mike has fished every major tournament trail.  He enjoys working with the media, including television, print and radio and he especially enjoys working with children.  He loves to teach them the basics that will lead to a lifelong hobby or perhaps even a career like he has.

As if professional tournament fishing, working with sponsors, sport shows, and the many other taskes associated with professional angling do not keep Mike busy enough; he also owns an excavating company.  Mike is a very hard working man, both on and off the water.  He also has an AMAZING family.  His parents have shown their constant love and support and they come to as many of his walleye tournaments as they can. 


Mike Gofrons’ Dad and Mom are often seen cheering in the crowds!

Mike’s wife Tami and their two children, Lindsey and Kyle, have been the backbone to his success as well.  They, too, have traveled for years to cheer Mike on. Life isn’t always easy on the tournament trail, anglers are gone for weeks and sometimes, if the tournaments are back to back in far off states, maybe even months at a time.  It takes commitment from everyone to make for a successful happy team. Mike has that and it shows!

Mike currently competes in the AIM Professional Walleye Series where he won the 2010 Championship at Lake Winnibigoshish in MN. He also fishes other local tournaments as well.  His professional career and most of his credentials came from the PWT (In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail).  On the PWT, Mike earned 37 top 10 finishes, was Angler of the Year two times and won three tournaments, including the coveted PWT Championship in 2001.  Mike is currently AIM’s all time money winner and he places “in the money” nearly 60 percent of the time.  Mike is definitely HOT and he has what it takes to remain at the top! 

Mike’s goals for the future include doubling all of his awards.  Certainly there’s no end in sight for Mike, he is a very driven and competitive angler. Although known as a jig fisherman, he has proven that he competes at the highest level using any walleye technique from crank-baits to bottom bouncers to slip sinker rigs. There’s little doubt that he’ll remain a constant presence in the media and continue to keep each of his corporate sponsors happy.  Mike has shown his dedication and commitment by working with many of his sponsors since he first started fishing tournaments. Because of his hard work and the goals he sets for himself, sponsors continue to enjoy working with him as well.  Mike’s sponsors include:  Mercury Outboards,  Lund Boats,  Navionics, Plano, Optima Batteries, Do It,  Off Shore Tackle, Shoreland’r,  WalleyeWorkshop.com,  MotorGuide , Lowrance, Triangle Sports and Marine, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Rapala
* 2010 – AIM – 1st Place Winnibigoshish, MN
* 2010 – AIM – Fourth Place in Green Bay, WI
* 2010 – AIM – Fifth Place in Brimley, MI
* 2010 – MWC Event, 4th place finish Sandusky, OH
* 2009 – AIM Event, 1st place finish Akaska, SD
* 2009 – AIM Event, 5th Saginaw Bay, MI
* PWT Record: 37 Top 10 Finishes
* 2005 – In-Fisherman Angler of the Year
* 2005 – Norb Wallock Memorial Education Award
* 2005 – Johnsonville Brats Sportsman of the year
* 2004 – Winner Professional Walleye Trail, Bull Shoals
* 2004 – GOLD Medal Winner, ESPN Great Outdoor Games
* 2004 – 3 top ten finishes out of 6 PWT tournaments
* 2003 – 10TH place Professional Walleye Trail Championship
* 2002 – 2nd place operation Walleye, Wal-Mart RCL Championship
* 2002 – 4th place Professional Walleye Trail, Lake Winnebago
* 2001 – Winner Professional Walleye Trail Championship
* 2000 – Winner Professional Walleye Trail, Sault Ste. Marie
* 2000 – 3rd place Professional Walleye Trail Championship
* 2000 – 1998 Remington/Stren Top Gun recipient
* 1999 – In-Fisherman Angler of the Year
* 1998 – Masterlock Sportsman of the Year

Preferred Techniques:
Mike: “My favorite is finesse’ jigging. I love pitching jigs to the shore or into
the weeds and working it back to the boat. It takes a lot of skill to keep your jig
in the strike zone at all times. There is nothing better than catching a 10 lb
walleye on a 1/8 oz jig”.

Largest Walleye: 13lbs, Lake Erie
Key Sponsors: Lund Boats, Mercury Outboards
Home Waters: Illinois

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