On the morning of 2/8/2022, the H2H Fishing Crew heard the news we were all hoping would never come.
Mike Hanson passed away. Although we do not know all the details, we know that Mike was battling hard in a hospital for many days.
Even though the relationship between Mike and H2H was short, Mike always had an uncanny way to light up any room, parking lot, boat ramp, or screen. Mike’s H2H debut was during the Crossin Eyes event on Lake Winnebago in the summer of 2019. When the camera was rolling, Mike instantly stole the show. Not only entertaining, but Mike was also a wealth of knowledge and an extraordinary teacher on screen. “When Mike was on screen our job instantly became so much more enjoyable and easier. Watching Mike on camera was so much fun! I wish he could have fished every event!” – says H2H Announcer Matt Tratz. Mike’s time on screen was arguably some of the most memorable in H2H history. His famous Mike Iaconelli impersonation of “NEVER GIVE UP” was the moment we all fell in love with not only Mike Hanson the angler, but Mike Hanson the person.
Mike Hanson continued his involvement with H2H by fishing the Pro Walleye Series in 2021. Not only was Mike fishing H2H events, but he was also helping with production. The big heart of Mike Hanson showed through during the first PWS event when he was eliminated from the tournament. Many anglers packed up and went back home, but not Mike, he stayed as a volunteer on-the-water commentator. Mike was natural behind the camera and he was always smiling, laughing, and entertaining. Mike’s years in the fishing industry cultivated countless friendships and memories with many of the PWS Anglers, which made him the perfect on-the-water commentator. Mike’s PWS season ended at the Championship Event, an achievement that spoke to the level of angler Mike was. No matter how Mike’s tournament went, a smile was always on Mike’s face.
It was no secret that Mike Hanson impacted so many lives, and he was loved by so many people. On behalf of the entire H2H crew, we were all so incredibly lucky to have gotten the chance to know Mike.
In honor of Mike Hanson, H2H will be awarding an angler or team a Mike Hanson Spirit Award. One angler or team after each event will be nominated for this award for showcasing the “Never Give Up Mike Hanson Attitude”. At the end of the season, there will be a fan vote to determine the winner.
In effort to help Mike’s family and friends through this difficult time, there is also a Go Fund Me page setup.