How MLF Anglers are Spending their Holiday Season

Who's taking a break from fishing? Who's practicing for the 2018 season? Some of the MLF anglers told us how they're celebrating the holidays.
Who's taking a break from fishing? Who's practicing for the 2018 season? Some of the MLF anglers told us how they're celebrating the holidays.

By Rachel Dubrovin - December 22, 2017

It’s the holidays, and Major League Fishing pros are taking some much-needed time off from competing. We checked in with some of our anglers and asked what they’re doing during “the most wonderful time of the year”.

Zack Birge

For Zack Birge, it’s going to be an extra special holiday season. It’s his daughter’s first Christmas! In addition to spending time with his family, he says he also plans to hunt everyday with his buddies.

Zack Birge Hunting with Friends
Zack Birge duck hunting with friends.


Mark Davis

Mark Davis says he will be spending Christmas with his family, and getting ready for the 2018 season.

“We just finished up football with one of our twins, 2A State Champ Team Runner Up. Our oldest has been helping me get our deer lease in south Texas ready for some after-the-holidays hunting. Our twins will spend some time hunting while my new boat is being rigged,” Davis said.


Ott DeFoe

Ott DeFoe and Family
Ott DeFoe with his wife and kids.

Ott DeFoe says his kids are getting excited for Santa to visit… If they've been good enough! But he says his family never forgets to celebrate Jesus' birthday.

“He is the reason to be joyful this time of year!” said DeFoe.


Gary Klein

Gary Klein hunting and fishing with his daughters
Gary Klein hunting and fishing with his daughters.

Gary Klein will also be spending some quality time with his kids, and it sounds like they’ll be doing some home improvement.

“My girls and I are staying home and spending time at our ranch during the holidays,” said Klein, “It’s awesome to be able to have quality time with my daughters as we get in a little fishing and hunting. As a family we are also working a project to give our ceiling that ‘aged barn’ look!”


Shaw Grigsby

Shaw Grigsby is a proud grandparent. He says this winter, he went hunting with his Grandson, Bryce, in Florida and South Carolina. Bryce shot his first hog, and Grigsby says his son cooked it for a big family dinner. Grigsby also has a granddaughter, Charlotte, and he says she recently said her first word: “Fish”.

Shaw Grigsby's grandchildren
Shaw Grigsby’s grandchildren, Bryce and Charlotte.


Brandon Palaniuk

Up in Idaho, Brandon Palaniuk says his Christmas is going to be fairly simple. He’s spending time with his girlfriend, Tiffanie.

“I'll be spending Christmas Eve and day with my girlfriend’s parents, and [I’m] in the process working on rigging my new 2018 boat and finishing up sponsor contracts,” said Palaniuk, “Should be a great Christmas!”

Brandon Palaniuk and girlfriend Tiffanie
Brandon Palaniuk and his girlfriend, Tiffanie.


Dave Lefebre

Dave Lefebre says he’s all finished with his Christmas shopping, so he’ll be spending his holiday season on the ice in Pennsylvania, if it’s thick enough on the lake.

“It’s always iffy around Christmas,” Lefebre said, “But that's the goal! If not, that will give me more time to practice with the MLF scales. I do that hours a day, every second counts!”

Dave Lefefre ice fishing
Dave Lefebre ice fishing.

He says all the latest ice fishing tackle, gear, and electronics are in. He’s getting everything set up while he’s enjoying time with his family. Lefebre says this year he and his wife, Anne, are spending Christmas with Anne’s parents.

Lefebre said, “Our families are too big to combine, so I'll be outnumbered and with Anne's four brothers, I'll have to fight a little harder over the food.”

Lefebre is also looking forward to the special Christmas edition of Monday Night Football.

“I’m a Steeler nut and they play on Christmas, so that's my day in a nutshell. My holiday attitude depends on that game,” said Lefebre.


Kurt Dove

Kurt Dove will be watching that game in person. He says he’s heading to Houston to watch the Steelers play the Texans.

“My wife is from Pittsburgh and we are big Steeler fans!” said Dove.


Denny Brauer

Denny Brauer will also spend Christmas in the Lone Star State. Brauer says he and his family will enjoy their home on Lake Amistad for the holidays, and they’re planning their annual New Year’s party.

Brauer just got back from a fishing trip on Lake Comedero in Mexico with Ron Speed Adventure.

“Fishing was great.” Brauer said, “For a Christmas present I’m going back in January. Yes, I’m spoiled.”

Denny Brauer fishing in Mexico
Denny Brauer fishing on Lake Comedero in Mexico.


James Watson

While most anglers will be spending quality time with their families this holiday season, James Watson says he’s going to try something different this Christmas.

“Instead of spending time with my parents, and regular family members, I’m going to take a tour of Eagles Lodges around the Ozarks,” Watson explained.

He says he’s hoping to hit at least ten lodges in the Waynesville, Missouri area, and he’s looking forward to eating some delicious home-cooked meals.

We asked if he expects people to recognize him as a professional angler.

“Oh I’ll get recognized,” Watson explained, “I’ll just deny it.”

He says once he’s had enough, he’ll head home and check the mail one more time for Christmas gifts.

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