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“Are you Bobby Garland?”

June 14, 2016
By Larry Claypool - OVO Editor , Ohio Valley Outdoors

Dan Dannenmueller's Z521C Ranger boat is just like any other fishing boat. Maybe from the deck, but outside - it's a brightly colored 'wrapped' boat with sponsor's logos splashed end to end. If it were a candy wrapper you'd want to eat what was inside.

Fisherman instantly recognize Dannenmueller's 21-foot craft as a crappie boat. His main sponsor - Bobby Garland Crappie Baits - is featured on the large 'candy wrapper'. There's photos of several large crappie fish swimming about too. And his attached shiny Ford truck features the same Bobby G logo. There's also more fish pictures on the truck, and a life-size photo of Dannenmueller and his new partner, Garrett Steele.

When this rig pulls into town, you know who's coming.

Article Photos

Pro anglers Dan Dannenmueller (left) and Garrett Steele of Crappie Country offer four of their largest fish catch during the PA Crappie Camp last month on Shenango River Lake. Photo by Larry Claypool

For Dannenmueller, and with his personality, he has a friend around every corner, or at least at every stop he makes. "This happens everywhere we stop," said Steele, who's been Dannenmueller's teammate since 2013. "We stop to get gas and it's at least another 20 minutes because Dan loves talking with people. And people love talking to him."

On the water, while fishing, it's the same thing. "Are you Bobby Garland?" asked a fisherman as he pulled close to Dannenmueller and Steele on Shenango River Lake recently. "I use all your stuff," added the fisherman. "No, they're our sponsor," Dannenmueller said.

"What baits do you like?" asked Dannenmueller of his new friend. And a 10 minute conversation ensued - all while catching fish with his spider rig.

That conversation took place at Shenango while Dannenmueller and Steele were participating in the PA Crappie Camp, a three-day media fishing event of outdoor communicators and representatives of several fishing tackle companies. I participated on Day 3 with Dannenmueller and Steele and Garmin Electronics' Mark McQuown on Shenango River Lake. The first two days the group fished on Pymatuning Lake and Conneaut Lake.

Dannenmueller is not only a professional crappie fisherman, he loves the sport and promotes it at all times. He also has vested interest in the sport (in the digital world) as he's the publisher and owner of the CrappieNow online magazine. It's the No. 1 online crappie magazine.

Together with Steele, they now work under the moniker of "Crappie Country". Adding the word 'Country' to their title offers a dual meaning for Steele as he is an established country music artist and entertainer. In addition Dannenmueller and Steele have obtained representation from NY-LA-NASH Entertainment to spearhead their careers on and off the water. NY-LA-NASH is owned by 30+ year entertainment industry veteran TinaMarie Holland, who also happens to be married to Steele.

Dannenmueller said it's been a perfect fit, connecting with Steele, Holland and NY-LA-NASH. Dannenmueller's an accomplished bass and crappie fisherman on the national scene, including winning the Crappie Masters Angler of the Year Team honors for both 2011 and 2012. At this writing the Crappie Country team sits in 13th place in the top 20 Crappie Masters team standings with three events to go.

As Dannenmueller and Steele travel across the country fishing and promoting their team and sport, they do so by participating in media events (like the one in western Pennsylvania), do on-air interviews on television, radio and podcasts online, speaking engagements and offer seminars, including several at Bass Pro Shops, another sponsor.

And Dannenmueller will still offer impromptu mini clinics in a truck stop near you.

That could be why some have called the Crappie Country team the "Ambassadors" of crappie fishing. "We like that name. We're honored by it," said Steele.


Contact Dan Dannenmueller via email at:, visit or Crappie Country on Facebook. See Steele's website at:

The Crappie Country team caught most of their fish during the PA Crappie Camp using Bobby Garland Crappie Baits, specifically Baby Shad Swim'Rs in colors; Glacier, Bluegrass, Glitter Critter and Ice Out. They also use DDOutdoor Jigs (called P&S Jigs).

Dannenmueller's Ranger boat is equipped with a Yamaha SHO 250 HP motor and he uses Garmin electronics, Driftmaster Stalker rod holders with BnM 16ft BPJP trolling rods.

The PA Crappie Camp was hosted by Darl and Marilyn Black, the Crawford County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Visit Mercer County PA tourism. Other sponsors were: Pymatuning State Park, TTI-Blakemore Fishing, BnM Poles, Gamma Fishing Lines, Garmin, Bobby Garland Crappie Baits (Gene Larew Lures) and Driftmaster/Division of Black River Tools.

A free crappie fishing seminar was also held in conjunction with the Crappie Camp. It was held May 19 at the Reynolds VFW in Transfer, PA.



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