Luke Wholey | PA
Where you hail from-I grew up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and after Attending Montana State University would spend summers guiding for all five species of Pacific salmon, trout, grayling and northern pike. I currently reside back in Pittsburgh Pa. I began fishing when I was five years old after my baby sitter, Judy bought me my first fishing rod. The first time I got to use it l, my mother was riding her bike at North Park Lake while I sat on a bench fishing for bluegills using bread as bait. I ended up filling the bucket with fish and was so proud to show my mom when she got back. I’ve pretty much been consumed with fishing since that day.
Industry associations- I currently am on the pro staff of Striker ice, Tackle Industries and Livingston Lures. I frequently help local agencies for Ice and open water fishing demonstrations and volunteer with Who’s your Brother, taking underprivileged youth on fishing trips.
Preferred fishing and/or target species- My preferred fishing, is hands down chasing big Muskies on tip ups. There is nothing compared to the thrill of finally getting one of these monsters to hit your bait, sprinting to the flag, and then fight it by hand and have to pull it through a 10″ hole by hand. I am also a big fan of throwing big swim baits for Muskies when the ice isn’t around.
Where you like to fish- I love fishing all of Pennsylvanias Vast waterways. Presque Isle on Lake Erie, Kinzua reservoir, The Allegheny, Mon and Ohio Rivers, Pymatuning and lake Arthur are all places that I frequently have success targeting big Muskies.
Tips for catching your favorite species- The best tip I could give to a newcomer to the sport of ice fishing, is to have patience, combat fishing fatigue and don’t be afraid to try new techniques such as big, loud rigs loaded with, flashaboo, bells, and spinners on a few of your tip ups. It took me 15 years of ice fishing to finally attain my goal of catching a trophy musky through the ice. It turns out I caught three of them that day, maybe all the stars aligned just right , but it certainly affirmed all the time and energy I had spent trying to achieve my goal!
Memorable story or experience– One of my most memorable fishing experiences . I was ice fishing on Lake Erie for steelhead. I had been fishing for several hours without a bite, staring down the hole I noticed a school of fish literally one inch below the ice. I immediately went to all of my rods and changed the bobber depth so they were all sitting right below the surface. Within 90 seconds I had my first bite, as I was reeling that fish in the other two rods drags started screaming off and luckily I was able to fight all 3 fish to the holes to unhook and release. I ended up catching many more fish that day and will never forget how much fun I had out the fishing all by myself in some pretty miserable and cold conditions. Had I not seen those fish under the ice I probably would have gotten skunked that day. I’ve always been fairly observant of fish behavior and activity but prior to that day it never occurred to me to fish a bait that close to the surface under the ice . I employ this technique now all the time for many different species including Muskies and big pike with great success.
How you measure success-It’s tough not to equate catching bigger and more fish with success in fishing. I try to stay humble and pass on my knowledge to others and measure success with how much of an impact I can have on others enjoyment of this sport.
Why team up with Striker ICE?– I take a lot of Pride in all of the knowledge in angling I have acquired over the 27 years I have spent pursuing this sport. A big part of what I’ve learned is how critical choosing the right equipment can be. Going for the less costly rod, reel, line, hooks, lures or clothing ends up costing you way more in the long run. Losing fish or losing time on the water due to being uncomfortable is always disappointing and takes away from your confidence as an angler. Striker ice creates products that I have the upmost confidence in, and I know I will be prepared for any weather conditions I will be fishing in. Leaving early due to cold or windy weather conditions is completely out of the question when you are wearing the right Striker Ice gear!