Fishing With Big Mike

Mike Way is a native from Syracuse New York. His daily grind is at UPS, where he has worked for the last 11 years as a loader. His passion for fishing began as young boy, when his father and grandfather would take him on fishing trips at Green Lake. He still remembers, when his first grade teacher thought he had chicken pox, because the mosquitos left him riddled with welts during a fishing outing.  Most of the time he fishes alone now, but occasionally takes his sister or his friends .  His niece is almost two years old and he looks forward to teaching her how to catch fish.

A nature lover at heart, he tries not to miss an opportunity to pursue bass, trout and panfish with ultralight gear during his weekly long summer hikes. Releasing most of his catch, but like any true angler, enjoys trout on the grill with mouth-watering butter and garlic, from time to time.

About four years ago, Mike started his YouTube channel, he figured it was a good excuse to buy a camera.  And to find inspiration started to view videos on YouTube, then he came across Uncle Steve, a very prolific youtuber.  Mike says Uncle Steve’s no-nonsense approach and down-to-earth advice style has been a great influence on his own work.  Things kind of took off from there and so after MIke was producing four to five videos a week, basically lugging the camera around every time he went fishing.  Over the past few years, he has created over a hundred videos and steadily built a following.

His video production rate has slowed down a bit, he does this as a hobby and wanted to make sure it did not turn into a job, he already has one of those.  He says, that some aspects of producing videos have gotten easier with practice, like editing and the like. But the pressure of having to put out a video every week is a kind of turn off, and he prefers to fish, have fun and not have to worry about the camera all the time. After all that is what got him started to begin with.

During the winter months, Mike does not ice fish, so he concentrates mostly on building jigs and tying flies.  He has created many cool jigs, some of them, he has sold to other anglers.  This is also a hobby for him and he does not have any immediate plans to turn this into a business.

Mike’s introduction to pole fishing, came one day while he was walking around Bass Pro and saw a bucket of cane poles.  He bought three of them and took them fishing with great success.  He says, that a lot of the videos online seem to be about unboxing things, there seems to be a great drive for people to just buy more expensive gear. He wanted to show people that you can go back to basics, that you don’t need complicated gear to fish and have a lot of fun.  Wanting to motivate his viewers, to try these back-to-basics gear and techniques for themselves, he came up with a contest he calls the “Fix Line Challenge”.

The rules of the contest are very simple, basically you can use a rod but no reel and you must also submit a video of you catching the fish.  He has hosted six or seven of them so far, usually from May to September.   The contest has been a hit, with lots of participants and even quite a few regulars.   At first he would give out his own chatterbait jigs as prizes, later on youtuber BigFishinFerg from Big Fergs Kordz donated some of his products for the challenge.

Mike’s first introduction to handline fishing with yoyo’s, comes when FishingNate in928, a fellow youtuber and a regular participant of the “Fix Line Challenge”, won first place using a cuban fishing yoyo.  Later on, Mike read an article on this blog of Nate trying out a Yoyito for the first time on carp and bluegill.

That is when Mike decided to give handlining with a Yoyito a try.  He says: “I wanted to try a cuban yoyo, but they are really big, like 9″ or so… and what really appealed to me about the Yoyito, is that I can put it in my pocket.  I really like the finger holes, I can hang on to it better and the two little holes in the back, work great to secure your line when you’re done using it”.

Here are Mike’s first impressions and unboxing of the Yoyito, along with some cool soft-plastics called Mat Tom from youtuber gmanlipripper.

Mike told me that he is already planning the next challenge for the beginning of May, and will be giving out prizes, like a Buck knife and one of his Yoyitos.  However, I asked him, not to give away one of his Yoyitos.  I would like to support him on his efforts to educate and incentivize people to go back to basics and recapture the essence of fishing.  We will like to be a sponsor on his next contest and donate some Yoyitos as prizes for the winners.  After all, I completely agree with mike when he says: “It is interesting seeing how people improvise, how some guy just driving by a river, pulls out some line out of his glove box and starts fishing with some old bread out of a garbage can.  Basically, the only thing that matters is what is below the waterline”.

Keep an eye on his youtube channel for information about the upcoming “Fix Line Challenge”.  Once you there, please subscribe and like his videos, share them with your friends on Facebook and other social networks, let’s support this guy, he is one of us.