Frisch: New Year’s resolutions with a fishing rod in hand

The start to the new year has Alexandria area guide Mike Frisch thinking about what he wants to accomplish on the water throughout 2022.

Mike and Sawyer.jpeg
Sawyer Waldorf got quite a surprise when this smallmouth bass ate his bait while fishing for bluegills with his grandpa, Mike Frisch, last summer. Getting on the water more with family is one of the things Frisch wants to focus on most during the 2022 fishing season.
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With the holiday season just completed and another year of fishing adventures in the rearview mirror, I’ve been reflecting on the past year, looking ahead to the coming year, and making plans for next summer’s fishing season.

Here are some of the things that I hope to accomplish during the coming year. These are, in essence, my fishing resolutions for 2022!

Fish “new” waters

This past fishing season I headed to a couple small fisheries in my home area that I hadn’t fished in at least a decade.
These lakes were “hidden gems” for panfish and largemouth bass that I had kind of forgotten about as I spend more time traveling around the Midwest fishing other waters. A chance meeting at a rest area with an old acquaintance who also favored the particular fisheries “back in the day” served as a reminder about the productivity of the two lakes.

I fished them both last fall and caught good numbers of fish, just like back in the day. Those good fishing trips had me thinking of other lakes I used to fish a good bit and have kind of forgotten about.

I hope to sample some new lakes that I’ve never been on during the 2022 open water season. I also plan to revisit some other lakes that I have either forgotten about or neglected in recent years.


This situation also has me counting my blessings as I am very fortunate to live in the Alexandria area of Minnesota, an area with so many lakes with good fishing opportunities that I somehow forgot about some really good fisheries!

Learn new techniques

I’ll be the first to admit that I have been slow to catch on to the vibrating jig as a bass fishing lure.

Gov. Tim Walz announced the annual angling event would take place in Mankato for the first time.

While several of my fishing friends have reported great catches with these lures, I have only occasionally tied one on and made some casts.

Last July, however, Shane Gesell, one of the producers of Fishing the Midwest TV, got out from behind the camera and joined me for a day on the water. Shane tied on a Thunder Cricket vibrated jig and dressed it with a Blade Minnow plastic. Rather than simply casting it out and steadily retrieving it, Shane would cast, reel quickly, and then stop his retrieve.

By killing his retrieve, Shane’s bait would fall toward the bottom mimicking a wounded baitfish and, at times, get bit by a hungry bass. Not only did Shane’s unique method catch several fish, but it also put the two biggest fish, a couple fat 4-pound largemouth, in the boat.

I’ll be spending more time throwing a vibrating jig next summer and will keep a more open mind to other new fishing lures and techniques used with those lures. As they say, “it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks!”

Fish with family

Last summer I assisted my grandson, Sawyer, to his first fish catches, watched my son-in-law, Colin, catch one of his first walleyes, and got in on a fast fall walleye bite with my mom. Thinking of these memorable days reminds me that this is something that I need to do more of in 2022. Afterall, catching fish is always fun, but the best part is sharing time in the boat with people you cherish the most.

Here’s hoping your upcoming season is filled with good catches and time spent with those you enjoy as well!


As always, enjoy your time on the ice and water, and remember to include a youngster in your outdoors adventure.

Mike Frisch hosts the popular Fishing the Midwest TV series. Visit for more “fishy” stuff.

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