Headline Speakers

Joe Fonzi

Joe Fonzi


Born and raised in Western New York along the Niagara Escarpment, Joe Fonzi has spent most of his life in the outdoors: fishing, hunting, and trapping. Joe began his outdoor adventures as soon as he was old enough to keep up with his dad and grandfathers, who did it all from fly fishing to trapping. He still owes much of his success to the lessons and ethics that were set forth by these early mentors.

Joe is a graduate of both, New York State school of Environmental Science and Forestry (BSF); and SUNY Brockport, where all of his emphasis was placed on environmental studies. His graduate work was in fisheries management with importance placed on freshwater ecosystems; he participated in a 2 year fisheries inventory study of the New York canal system from Lake Erie to the Hudson River. For the past 22 years Joe has held a US Coast Guard license he's used turned his passion for fishing into a successful fishing charter business. Captain Joe, charters fishing trips on lakes Erie and Ontario, spending almost two hundred days a year in his Ranger boat, targeting smallmouth bass, perch, and walleyes.

When Joe isn't guiding, he tries to fit in as many fishing tournaments as possible. With finishes in the top 5 of both the National Bass and Walleye circuits Joe has accomplished something that most anglers don't even attempt. Other tournament accomplishments include: 6 top ten finishes in the FLW and qualifying for the FLW Costa championship both years he completed the circuit. Joe has also had success north of the border with several wins and top 10 finishes in both the Canadian Sport Fishing League (CSFL) and the Renegade Bass Circuits.

Joe holds pro-staff positions with several outdoor equipment companies including Mack's Lures, Steelshad Lures, Warrior Lures, and most notably Ranger Boats (for the past 14 years) and member of the Mercury Marine pro-team. Joe is entering his fifth year as a Cabela's pro staffer, he often participates in the Cabela's day's events at the Cheektowaga location. Joe also does several seminars each year for local sportsmen's clubs and outdoors shows in both the US and Canada, talking on a wide range of subjects from fishing ethics to tournament-winning strategies.

Mark Romanack: Fishing 411

Mark Romanack: Fishing 411


Mark Romanack, "the Outdoors Guy" is a lifelong outdoorsman and one of the nation's most active members of the outdoor media. A graduate of Northern Michigan University with a B.S. Degree in Conservation, Romanack has spent his entire career working to help others better understand and appreciate the outdoors. Romanack's outdoor career started in 1981 as an Environmental Educator. While working as a naturalist, he began to write outdoor articles for hunting and fishing magazines to supplement his income. His first article was published by Michigan Out of Doors Magazine (the nation's largest independent conservation organization). This part time hobby quickly grew into a full-fledged career with to date more than 3,000 writing credits in over 60 different local, regional and national magazines. Currently Romanack writes frequently for host of magazines and also produces a weekly outdoor blog on Facebook and the https://www.fishing411.net/ site.

Romanack made the move to outdoor writing full time in 1986. Since that time, he has published 13 different printed books on fishing, including the widely popular Precision Trolling Troller's Bible series of depth guides. Romanack has also released a growing number of Kindle e-books including Spinner Fishing Secrets, Walleye Jigging Tactics and Walleye Crankbait Trolling Strategies. In addition to writing and photography, Romanack has become a sought-after public speaker on a variety of freshwater fishing topics. Considered one of the nation's leading authorities on walleye fishing and all things trolling, Romanack conducts more than 40 multimedia seminars annually on a variety of fishing topics. In 2007 Romanack plunged into the television world by hosting and field producing a new TV series called Fishing 411 broadcast nationwide on World Fishing Network. Currently filming season 10, Fishing 411 has grown rapidly both in distribution and popularity reaching millions of homes on Dish Network and a host of cable TV providers. The Romanack family is also very active on the popular social networking venues. In addition to maintaining two Facebook accounts with over 20,000 followers, the Fishing 411 team provides social networking content in the form of video, photography and written communications for all of their sponsors.

Jake Romanack: Fishing 411

Jake Romanack: Fishing 411


Captain Jake Romanack is one of the rising stars on the Great Lakes fishing scene.

The son of outdoor writer and TV host Mark Romanack, Jake has been fishing since he was old enough to hold up a trolling combo. "Jake grew up on the Great Lakes mastering both the fundamentals and the finer points of walleye, trout and salmon trolling," says Mark Romanack. Jake spent three years acting as a first mate on a dozen different charter boats before he stepped up and got his own captains license.

These days Captain Jake specializes in educational efforts including seminars, producing YouTube videos and also co-hosting TV productions as part of the family business Fishing 411 Productions."

Captain Jake Romanack lives in Northern Michigan with his wife Paige and hunting dog Kash, but travels religiously to target trout, salmon, walleye and other species around the Great Lakes region.

Lance Valentine

Lance Valentine


The founder of TeachinFishin and creator of "The 8 Steps to Catching More Fish", Lance Valentine has turned a life-long passion for fishing and teaching into one of the foremost fishing education programs in the country. Started in 1998, TeachinFishin combines Lance's years of experience fishing national tournaments (PWT, RCL) and thousands of hours of guiding into seminars, programming, workshops, Fishing Education Weekends, DVDs, and Live events covering all aspects of walleye fishing and marine electronics. Lance and the TeachinFishin staff are experts at making the tough fishing questions easy to understand with information any angler can quickly use to catch more fish regardless of species or location. Recognized as an expert in marine electronics, Valentine's Sonar/GPS seminars and training DVDs are considered "must sees" by both beginner and professional anglers. Entering his third decade as a full time walleye guide and seminar speaker, Lance's friendly demeanor and high energy speaking style have made him a favorite of show goers throughout the Midwest.

Chuck Earls

Chuck Earls


If you're in Northeast Ohio and want to kayak fish the big waters of Lake Erie, there is only one guy - Chuck Earls. Chuck has been fishing Ohio waters for over three decades and is known for three things: Safety, extreme weather fishing, and catching monster walleye! Chuck is a licensed Lake Erie Kayak Fishing guide, YouTuber, Podcaster, storyteller, Cold Water Kayak safety expert, and kayak outfitter. When you fish with Chuck, you get a lot of information to help you build your angling skills. He takes the time to explain the "why" not just the "how." He targets walleye, steelhead, and smallmouth bass although when you love to fish as much as Chuck does the species is secondary. Chuck is a member of the USA Kayak Fishing Team, Team Native Watercraft, Team Torqeedo, and Team YakAttack and is also a FishUSA ProStaffer. Chuck took his love for kayak fishing up another level in 2022 by adding a new kayak division to the 2022 Fall Brawl and the Lake Erie Walleye Trail. Interested in tournament fishing? Let Chuck get you ready to rumble.