Donny Hartman calls himself, “a working musician that loves to fish”. That’s a very humble description for a man considered on of the greatest guitar players of all time and one of the best fishermen anywhere. Hartman is an original member of The Frost band…. one of Michigan’s premier bands that sprang from the gritty, heavy-guitar rock-and-roll that developed in Detroit in the late 1960’s. The Alpena Band recorded three albums, but poor distribution and promotion by their record company caused them to miss the national success achieved by other Michigan bands like Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper and Grand Funk Railroad.
Frost members eventually went their separate ways, but fans of the Frost and members of the music industry never forgot the band. The band released The Best of the Frost reunion concerts of the years. The Frost received some of the recognition due to them with induction into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2008.
Over the course of nearly 50 years, Hartman has never stopped playing. He has released solo records and continues to front the Donny Hartman Band. Donny’s shows include some of the old favorites, but he also throws in some original tunes, some R & B, and even a little country. In addition to his reputation as a musician, Hartman is considered to be one of the most knowledgeable fishermen in the area and works as an inland fishing guide. “I love fishing the way that people love golf. If I could, I would fish every day,” he said. “It’s my passion. If it were my last day on the earth, I would wish that I was spending it fishing.”
Michigan has four great lakes within its borders and more than 11,000 inland lakes. Four of the twenty largest lakes are located in the Alpena area- Fletcher’s Pond, Hubbard Lake, Grand Lake, and Long Lake. The Thunder Bay River and numerous other lakes, rivers and streams provide ample opportunities for catching a wide variety of species including bass, pike, walleye, perch, crappie, and bluegill. Hartman says one of the reasons he loves living in Northeast Michigan is because it is an ideal location for inland lake fishing. “We have an area that is concentrated with a lot of good fishing lakes and streams in the immediate area, plus even more within just an hour’s drive”, he said.
What Donny catches: Fletcher’s Pond: bass, pike, pan fish; Hubbard Lake: “The Walleye Capitol” lake, small mouth bass, perch, pike; Grand Lake: perch, pike, bass, blue gill, walleye; Long Lake: perch, pike, bass, blue gill, small mouth bass; Thunder Bay River: perch, bluegill small and large mouth bass.
Donny’s Favorite Lake: I like Grand Lake- I love the islands. It is not as busy as the other lakes and not overrun with wave runners. The lake is never crowded, even on a hot day. And if it windy you can always tuck your boat out of the wind by an island.
Donny’s Secret Fishing Hole: Lake Winyah. Easy access, no water sports, but watch out for weeds. Great fishing for large and small mouth bass; pike, walleye, bluegill, perch, and crappie.
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