“Snowdog is making an impact on the ice fishing industry”
Today, we have an interview with a man who is rather popular among anglers not only in Minnesota, but throughout the Midwest. His charisma catches at once, attracts people’s interest, his videos about fishing and gear leave a lasting impression. If you've heard about the Ice Team project before, then most likely you've already guessed that it's all about a talented person named Matt Johnson.
The Snowdog team met him at St. Paul Expo 5 years ago. Mutual interest in cooperation quickly arose, but then Matt was bound by contracts with other brands. As soon as we get an opportunity, our cooperation with him and his guys has started. This is how he reminiscences about the first season.
— We first used the Snowdog machines (on the ice) in December of 2019. It was the Utility B13 MER. We definitely had some of the people around us interested! In fact, some of them came up to us and asked what the Snowdog was! We used them quite heavily that season, especially during early ice. We could get out to spots even before four wheelers and snowmobiles, it was nice! One of the things we noticed right away was how little gas they used… I believe we shuttled quite a few people and their gear back and forth that first week, and we barely used any gas! It didn’t take long to realize that the Snowdog machines were a valuable asset to our team!
It's the middle of spring 2022 now. Another ice fishing season has passed. And we wanted to discuss with Matt how he spent it with the new Sport model, how he would compare it with other models, what plans he has and how the father of four children has enough time for everything, given how much work he has in different projects. And anyway — how has he achieved all this ?!
— Matt, for 3 years of cooperation with us, you and your guys have tested and fished with 3 Snowdog models. It is very interesting to know your opinion about it.
— Yes, we have used the Utility, Sport and Twin Track models. All of them perform very well. The Utility and Sport and very similar in performance and operate the same. The Sport has a few more features and a cleaner look… more “sporty” if you will. You can also access the engine easier with the Sport, and it comes with some updated options for the handle and a carrying case. The Sport seems to be one of the more popular models amongst ice anglers. The Twin Track is a work horse! It definitely has a little more torque and towing capacity. While it does weigh a little more and doesn’t move through as tight of quarters, the Twin Track is probably gaining the most attention in recent months. There is also additional room for storage on the Twin Track as well — mostly due to it’s overall size. I personally don’t think you can go wrong with any of the models we’ve used so far!
— As far as we know, Ice Team works closely with Clam. Please tell us about your cooperation and the mods, accessories you came up with together for Snowdog. How do they get applied in practice? How did the public respond to this at exhibitions, on trips?
— Yes, Ice Team and Clam oftentimes go hand-in-hand. The partnership is very strong. We’ve “tricked out” some of the Snowdog models we use, namely with accessories that Clam offers, but also in the Clam engineering room with modifications you can’t find on a retail shelf. The ClamLock system seems to be the most popular and easy to use. You’ll see that our Sport model is modified heavily with the ClamLock options… from rod holders, to tackle storage, to drink holders, and everything in between! It’s fun to play around with your Snowdog and find cool ways to modify them… and it’s nice to see that Clam offers an assortment of accessories that work well, too! A very positive response at the ice fishing shows and we called our tricked-out Snowdog the “show-stopper” because it would literally stop people because they had to check it out!
— Very nice indeed. And what future do you see for the Ice Team and Snowdog cooperation? What are your plans for the next season?
— We see the partnership continuing to grow. Snowdog is making an impact in the ice fishing industry.Ice Team is proud to bring their brand into the North American market — focusing on the United States and Canada. We know that Snowdog is continuing to push the bar on producing a quality product in their field, and we’re excited to help promote/test those products to our audience. We also know there are additional accessories and options to make the ice angler’s experience better, so that excites us as well. We are proud to work through some of those challenges with the Snowdog team and we know the end result will always be better, and something our fans will want to use!
— Great. Thanks. By the way, regarding success. How did you become such a respected influencer among the Midwest anglers? Judging by the way you speak and present information, one has an impression that you are a journalist or a TV reporter by profession. Did you have such an experience? How did you become an angler and a master of commercial fishing telling about fishing gear and all these things?
— My passion for fishing — both ice fishing and open water fishing — is something I really work hard to not take for granted. It is ultimately my life, it’s not just a job. I live it. I think that is very important for someone who wants to make an impact. I can’t turn it off, it’s always with me. 24 hours a day, 7 days a weeks, 365 days a year… it’s really who I am. I’ve always said that it’s oftentimes the work you do that you’re NOT getting paid for that defines a person… and this goes for fishing/promoting, sports, your job, your community, and your family. I’ve been involved in the industry for over 20 years. I started guiding when I was 18 years old and that’s how I paid my bills through college. I would fish every chance I could, and of course that meant I was promoting and educating just as much. Involved in fishing forums/websites, then social media… really any way I could be involved and help others catch more fish! I’ve fished in a pile of different tournaments, both ice fishing and open water, and ultimately realized my calling was in the promotional side. I started the Ultimate Panfish League in 2002 to give ice anglers another opportunity to compete—and learn—while targeting crappies and bluegills. It’s still going strong to this day and it’s the country’s longest running ice fishing circuit! I’ve also worked at fishing retail stores, hosted many different TV shows and radio programs, wrote a pile of fishing articles, and continue to perfect my skills every day! Like I said, it never stops and I’ve never looked at it as a job, but rather an important part of my life. The passion needs to burn bright, and always, or else you’ll lose touch with the industry and fans. I truly love what I do!!
— This is very impressive, in our view. We know that you were born in Minnesota. Could you please tell us about the peculiarities and beauty of your region? And — your family, beautiful kids… Sometimes you take them with you on fishing trips, right? How do they like it? Any chance that tremendous Johnson's Team's historic media project will be organized? We wish you success in this!
— Yes, born and raised in Minnesota. Even stayed in Minnesota for college. My wife is also from Minnesota, in fact, she went to the same high school as me and we were reunited after college! We have four children… three boys and a girl! All of which enjoy fishing, some more than others, and some want to make this their career as well! We spend A LOT of time outside, even if it doesn’t have to do with fishing. We’ve very active and we’re always on the go! I’ll admit, one of the highlights for my kids has actually been the Snowdog machines! They love to ride them and rip around the lakes. Some of my kids are not old enough to actually drive them, but they enjoy sitting in the sled while I drive from spot to spot! I’m sure you’ll see the Johnson family involved in fishing for many, many years to come! And someday, I’m sure you’ll see my kids more involved in the same things I do!