Great Lakes Fish Decoy Assn.


Home of the Fish Decoy Carving World Championship


1. What is the GLFDA?
GLFDA is a condensed version of the GLFDCCA which stands for the Great Lakes Fish Decoy Collectors and Carvers Association. Our organization is a non- profit whose goal is simply to promote the joy of carving and collecting fish spearing decoys.  Through our sponsorship of the annual "World Championships Of Fish Decoy Carving" we endeavor to raise awareness of the fish decoy as a working art form with traditional, utilitarian qualities
2. Who can compete?
The annual World Championships are open to any carver who wishes to test his or her hand carved fish decoys in competition.  The atmosphere at this competition is always friendly.  Carvers from the beginner to the advanced will benefit from attending this event and the atmosphere during judging is nothing short of awesome.  Attending carvers and  judges take a helpful and nurturing attitude when evaluating entries. For complete competition rules follow the RULES link located within this website.
3. Where are the World Championships of Fish Decoy Carving held?
This event is held each September in Southern Michigan - see our Competition Rules section for more details.
4. How can I learn to carve a basic fish decoy?
Aside from basic books on the subject like "Carving Traditional Fish Decoys" by Anthony Hillman carvers may access information by searching the internet.  Once a basic knowledge of fish decoy carving is achieved, attending shows with other carvers, asking questions and repeated effort will increase your decoy carving knowledge and success.
5. How can I find competitions in my area?
The GLFDA World Championships Of Fish Decoy Carving are the premier fish decoy carving competition in the world of fish decoys.  For additional competitions throughout the year, check our LINKS and  CALENDAR tabs.
6. How do I begin to collect fish spearing decoys?
Collecting fish decoys is a widely enjoyed investment hobby for many collectors worldwide.  The universal appeal of the fish decoy as an art form is understood even where ice fishing is not practiced.  Collectors attach a certain mysticism to the fish decoy as an object of folk art that has come to represent a sporting history established in northern climates where frozen lakes are a yearly event. For additional information on collecting fish decoys, check our LINKS and CALENDAR tabs for dealers and upcoming shows or search the internet.  Remember that working with established dealers who have a good reputation is critical for a rewarding collecting experience.
7. How can I learn more about spearfishing?
Once again check our Links page.  There, you will gain access to the official websites for the Minnesota and Michigan Darkhouse and Angling Associations. Harvesting fish through the ice with a decoy and spear is a traditional form of fishing unlike any other.  It is interactive, exciting and very exact in terms of fish speared.  We practice the time-honored spearfishing tradition of "Look and Release", taking only what we need  without causing injury to fish as is common in "Catch and Release".
8.  How can I build a darkhouse?
The Michigan Darkhouse and Angling association website has an excellent article on "Building a Darkhouse" by organization president Mike Holmes

There is also a "build a darkhouse" tutorial on the MDAA website...

9.  How can I learn more about regulations regarding spearfishing in my state?
Assuming you live in a northern climate where lakes freeze in the winter, check your state DNR regulations regarding spearfishing.  Each state is different and even though we are constantly trying to regain spearing opportunities lost to regulation, it is important to observe and follow all regulations.