Ice Fishing’s Travelling Circus
Brian Brosdahl’s popular retail ‘Road Show’ blasts off in November
Crosslake, MN (October 25, 2019) – If a singular, larger-than-life persona applies to ice fishing, it’s Brian “Bro” Brosdahl—the Minnesota man everyone knows and dreams to fish with. Anyone who’s met the jovial guide and pro angler comes away from the conversation feeling like they’ve found a new buddy. That’s just part of Bro’s identity, the man who reminds you more of a favorite uncle than another fancy-pants famous fisherman.
On November 8, Brosdahl and his wife Heather embark on their annual Bro Road Show, a one-of-a-kind cross-country tour of the best, brightest and most interesting events and retail stores in the “ice belt.” From November through January, Bro will make stops at dozens of retail locations, from topnotch independent stores like Dakota Angler and Marine General to the most popular big box outdoor outlets.
Bro demos the Aqua-Vu HD Series at the St. Paul Ice Show.
Now in its eighteenth year, the Road Show’s first 2019 stop is also one of Bro’s favorites, the Dakota Angler Ice Institute— an all-ice fishing exhibition that runs November 8 to 10 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. At each subsequent stop, Bro offers on-the-spot fishing seminars as well as in-store training on trending products. Rest assured, the legendary fishing guide always leaves ample time to hang out with customers, talk shop and scribble icy autographs.
More often than not, Bro simply swaps fishing stories. Everyone who meets the affable angler, it seems, comes away with a smile, a story and a few new fishing gadgets.
“Bro has a gift for inviting folks into his inner circle with a simple handshake, a laugh and perhaps a tip related to the fish in their home waters, which more than likely, Bro’s fished at some point in his travels,” says Noel Vick, lifelong friend and president of Traditions Media, a fishing-focused PR-marketing firm with lengthy roots in the ice fishing industry. (Bro and Vick co-developed the original Bro Road Show over a decade ago.)
Bro’s better half, Heather, remains a friendly, familiar face on the famed Road Show.
Recognizing Bro’s undeniable ability to attract store traffic at each Road Show stop, retailers often schedule his visits to coincide with special sales and promotions, as well as in-store seminars. The results consistently yield noticeable upticks in store receipts, particularly among the brands Bro promotes, most notably Aqua-Vu® underwater cameras.
“When I start planning for our annual Ice Institute, Bro is the first person I contact,” says Todd Heitkamp, owner of Dakota Angler in Sioux Falls, SD. “The knowledge he passes on to all those who come and see him is unbelievable. He’s a super promoter for us and the tackle we sell, but is really a great friend to the entire fishing industry.”
“Couldn’t agree more,” adds Ben Gibbs, President of Aqua-Vu. “Bro’s a legitimate endorser of our underwater cameras and the other products he promotes. It’s not in Bro’s DNA to promote gear that’s not in his garage, fish house and truck. Bro never hits the ice without his Aqua-Vu, because he knows it will help him learn about and catch more fish.”
Crowds inevitably gather around Bro at each retail stop.
Brosdahl, who’s eminently qualified to make ice industry observations, says ice fishers increasingly use Aqua-Vu cameras to see what the fish are doing down below. “An Aqua-Vu has taught so many anglers so much about how fish behave, how they bite and where they’re located,” says Bro. “The camera even helps people understand sonar signals. No question, Aqua-Vu is also a big reason young anglers are attracted to the sport like never before.”
Among the hottest products for the 2019-20 ice fishing season? “Aqua-Vu has a new camera called the Multi-Vu™ that connects directly to the big screen TV in those large, wheeled ice fishing shelters. It’s like their own 24-7 live fishing channel.
“There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the handheld Aqua-Vu micro Revolution™ and Stealth™ cameras. All the best tournament anglers are using these portable cameras now. And weekend anglers have picked up on the trend and run with it. The convenience and portability of the micro series—the original smartphone-sized underwater cameras—still amazes folks.
The Aqua-Vu micro Stealth 4.3
“My new favorite for sight-fishing? Undoubtedly, it’s Aqua-Vu’s new Gen 2 high definition cameras, including the HD10i Pro. You can’t believe the clarity, panoramic picture and sunlight-viewability of these new HD viewing systems. Underwater cameras are hot in ice fishing and Aqua-Vu’s new high-def systems continue to amaze anglers, no doubt.”
In terms of trends in consumer buying habits, Bro sees an uptick in the willingness to buy premium-quality gear, even if it means a few bucks more at the check-out lane. “I’m seeing more people who are willing to spend a little more for a high-end Aqua-Vu camera. They want premium and know buying the best is an investment in their future fishing success.
“Ice fishing is as much about the culture as the pursuit itself,” says Bro. “People see ice fishing in the media and they crave the lifestyle; to be a part of this sport… it’s got an allure and a camaraderie that’s unique in the industry. In boats, people want to fish in solitude, but on the ice, people are drawn to each other… to stop by and talk. It’s one of the things that keeps growing the sport.”
Adds Gibbs: “Bro embodies ice fishing. From that unmistakable fiery red goatee and approachability, to his status as a founder of modern ice fishing, Bro’s simply the best. For us, his value at retail is truly special. But it’s Bro’s authenticity and ability to connect with folks he’s never met before that matters most.”
If you live in the Ice Belt, there’s a Bro “Road Show” event near you. Don’t miss the fun.