It’s safe to say that during the past decade, no one has drilled more holes than Ice Force’s Tony Roach. The only number that possibly rivals it is the volume of fish emerging to the surface, attached to one of ‘T-Roach’s’ lures. A zeal for fishing imbued with a magnetic personality has propelled Tony to angling stardom. But to talk fishing with this down-to-earth dude, you’ll quickly realize that the celebrity status hasn’t gone to his head.
One of the most popular and respected fishing guides in the Upper Midwest, Tony annually wets a line over 300 days each year. With a name like Roach - nephew of Mr. Walleye, Gary Roach - fishing talent is a foregone conclusion in guiding as well as tournament fishing. But beyond skill with a rod and reel, Tony inherited his legendary uncle’s unmistakable charisma— a gift for relating to people that beams from Tony’s signature friendly grin. During tradeshow appearances, seminars, or out on the ice, Tony remains highly approachable, never too busy to stop and spin a fishing yarn.
For over a decade, Tony has operated Roach’s Guide Service, and remains one of the busiest and most successful guides on Central Minnesota’s perennially popular Mille Lacs. Whether “Ice Trolling” on a frozen lake or backtrolling into a walleye chop, Tony has become known as the hardest working, most successful guide on the big lake.
Despite his bloodline bond with Mille Lacs walleyes, however, he’s far from a one-trick pony. Roach’s knowledge of the North Country’s hottest fisheries and angling techniques is unequaled. Whether he’s on the big lakes—Winnibigoshish, Lake of the Woods, Winnipeg—or those coveted backwoods hotspots, Roach seems to always be on biting fish, from big walleyes to stout smallmouth bass, pike and trophy panfish. This talent has made him a much sought-after commodity in the angling media. Tony regularly appears in national print and broadcast, including In-Fisherman and FLW Outdoors, Midwest Outdoors, and Ice Guide TV, as well as numerous regional radio, internet and newspaper outlets. He also produces and distributes a weekly on-the-water fishing report via youtube.com and his own website, roachsguideservice.com.
Fishing with Tony isn’t just an education, it’s a reminder of the sheer joys of fishing; every day on the water seems like Christmas. You get the feeling that for him, this isn’t work, but rather playing out a lifelong passion. With Tony on the scene, the Roach family tradition is alive and well.