Pete Maina

Hometown:  Hayward, WI

Pete’s ice-fished the waters of northwestern Wisconsin all his life. Few areas on the continent offer as much diversity when it comes to waters to fish. The numbers-of and proximity allows for mobile anglers to fish several waters in a day. There are natural lakes, reservoirs and rivers systems of all different sizes, water colors, structures and forage bases. This is quite helpful in patterning what types of water have the most active fish at a given time. The main target species are walleyes, panfish and northern pike; yet there are opportunities for whitefish and trout/salmonoid species as well … there’s even a handful of opportunities for good-looking fish like eelpout.

Pete loves chasing any fish through the ice, but he does have an affinity for “Fish With Teeth”, and like to concentrate on fisheries with northern pike. In some cases, he will target pike only, yet the majority of the time, he will be trying for pike and other species at the same time. In Wisconsin, you’re allowed three lines per angler; therefore with four (Pete’s minimum goal for angler numbers) or more folks on the ice, he’s able to cover a lot of water with a combination of tip-up sets and scattered jigging holes. On fisheries where available (some waters can be fairly featureless), Pete will choose more complex areas with shallows and deep water access, with (preferred) a defined breakline. Initially, he’ll cover all zones with sets, always ready to move them around if a pattern to location develops, which will also affect jigging locations. He varies presentations as well, whether it be different types of live/dead bait on the sets, or artificial presentations.

One of Pete’s accomplishments is to be a life-long lover of ice fishing. A fun story of Pete’s is that he was a witness, and a part-of, catching two pike at the same time; he actually got it on film while shooting a TNB show – on a tip-up. “Using dead bait, a big pike hit the bait … a smaller pike got tangled in the line above the one with the bait. SO, there’s a guy catching the fish(s) with me there; I grab the first pike, which just happened to be tangled and facing the right direction to go head-first through the hole (what are the odds of that), about a 7 lber; after about 10 more yards of line, up comes one about 25lbs. hooked in the mouth.”

Pete’s biggest strength is patterning fish. Punch lots of holes; move baits. He loves all species, but prefer bigger fish; ideally, fishing panfish and bigger fish at the same time.