Mike “Gnat” Gnatkowski has worn a lot of different hats during his years in the out-of-doors. He has been an outdoor writer/photographer/book author for more than 40 years. His award-winning images and articles have been honored by the Michigan Outdoor Writers Association as some of the best in their field. He has published hundreds of articles and images in publications such as North American Fishermen, In-Fishermen, Ducks Unlimited, Wildfowl, Colorado Outdoors, Wyoming Wildlife and many others. His cook book, Wild Game Simple, contains more than 140 recipes for wild game and fish. He continues to contribute to an array of outdoor publications as a freelance writer/photographer. He also scribes a very successful blog at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During his college years, Mike discovered his love of the outdoors could be combined with his intrinsic writing and photography skills. He took advantage of Alma College’s outstanding curriculum and educators to major in biology and English with a Program of Emphasis in Biological Journalism/Outdoor Writing. The POE included working closely with faculty members on independent studies as an intern at Michigan Out-of-Doors magazine, marketing analysis of outdoor publications, creative writing and editing and submission of articles and images to outdoor publications. Mike was first published in Michigan-Out-of-Doors magazine in 1976.
Captain Mike was a USCG licensed captain who plied the water of Lake Michigan for 25 years out of the Port of Ludington. He was one of the busiest and most knowledgeable charter boat captains on the Great Lakes. One of the first drift-boat guides in Michigan, Mike spent the spring, fall and winter guiding customers to big catches on the Big Manistee, Pere Marquette and Muskegon rivers for more than two decades. He was considered one of the top river guides in the country and is an authority on freshwater fishing. Mike is a sought-after lecturer and seminar speaker on a variety of subjects from outdoor photography to waterfowl hunting to Great Lakes fishing. He has given seminars at retailers such as Gander Mountain, Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops, as well as at major sports shows across the country.
Mike’s newest endeavor is called Lens To The Heavens. Lens To The Heavens are Mike’s one-of-kind images printed on several mediums. The first is back-film. The images are designed to go on the inside of conventional fluorescent lights. The same images are available on transparent adhesive-backed film that can be placed on windows or the back window of your truck. These same images are available as gallery canvas wraps and prints suitable for framing.