Michael Lavoie

Professional Angler

Michael’s love of fishing started from long days on the water with his uncle Ricky as a boy. With him, he learned trout fishing, and eventually bass fishing. Once he moved to California, Michael really dove into the sport. After spending some time getting comfortable with fishing in California, he started competing in tournaments. In the last several years he traveled all around the U.S. for tournaments and meeting like-minded people who share his passion and love of the sport.

Throughout his career, Michael has participated in 61 tournaments, with 23 top 10 finishes and two first-place wins. In 2022 alone, he has finished in the top 10 four times. He has been crafting his skill, even branching into making his own fresh and saltwater baits. Originally, he began creating baits out of necessity - the ones made for saltwater fishing weren’t effective enough for him. After seeing a huge change in performance and podium placements, other fishermen started to notice as well. Eventually, the demand grew high enough that he decided to build his own business, Branson Baits.

Michael has always made every effort to step up his fishing game. His tools enable him to do what he loves as best as he can. To further separate himself from the competition, he recently transitioned to lithium batteries to enable his kayak to be able to travel further. Now, he’s able to power his kayak without the extra weight of lead acid batteries, taking him to the next level.

Michael’s power system includes:

Michael uses two RELiON RB52s to power his trolling motor, fish finder, active target, lighting system and charging system on his Hobie Pro Angler 14 kayak. He installed a 24V system with a step-down converter so that he can use it for applications where he needs 12V. He believes this effective and clean setup willwith be used by other fishermen in the near future.

What Michael loves about being a fisherman:

“I love being able to see places all over the country that I wouldn’t get to see otherwise. When I’m out on these beautiful lakes, rivers and reservoirs, I really get the chance to experience nature. I’ve met so many like-minded people who are conservationists but also want to be able to enjoy the water, like me. I’ve been able to travel to places like Tennessee, New Hampshire, Vermont, Florida, California, Oregon, and Arizona and it’s been amazing. Florida is my favorite so far because every five minutes you arrive at another lake where you can hop out onto the water. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s about - I spend 10 hours a day out on the water because I love it. It’s my church, so any chance to do that in new places with new people, I’ll always jump at that chance.”

Why Michael switched to lithium:

“I made the switch to lithium batteries from lead acid because of their reduced weight and greater longevity. For kayakers, weight is one of the most important factors to consider when setting up a tournament kayak, so it just doesn’t make sense to have heavy lead acid batteries. Lithium batteries have really changed the game for kayakers, I am now able to have more electronics without the added weight of the battery. When lithium first landed in the industry, lead acid batteries were still being used to power small electronics like fish finders. My batteries now power all of the electronics on my kayak, trolling motor, fish finders, powerpole, music and phone charging capabilities. They last longer, they fit where I need them to fit, and my boat doesn’t get bogged down by them.”

Why Michael chose RELiON:

“I’ve been using lithium batteries for a few years now and have done a lot of research in the field. I’m also Lowrance Pro-staff, and I work with the company closely. When the company that owns RELiON purchased Lowrance, I thought it was the perfect time to switch over. I’d been seeing great things about not only their products, but also their customer service and involvement in the sport. So far, the batteries have exceeded my expectations in terms of their longevity, consistency of power throughout each day, and their weight.””

How has RELiON helped Michael challenge his own limits:

“It’s important to understand how tournaments for kayakers work - kayaks don’t usually get much further than three or four miles away from the start because of the time it takes to get out and back to the ramp. This often results in a lot of angler congestion in that three to four-mile area. With RELiON batteries, I am able to travel further with my motor - I can now get about six miles out if needed, separating me from the group. Getting outside of that congestion zone is really important, and this has made a real difference in my ability to perform. I wouldn’t be able to do that without these lighter and more powerful batteries.”

Michael’s advice to people considering changing to lithium:

“To me, lithium is just another part of the natural evolution of the sport of competitive kayak fishing. All of the electronics needed for a day on the water need to be powered, and the power source can’t be too heavy - quality lithium batteries are the obvious solution. Lithium batteries are still relatively new to kayakers, and I recommend making the switch to everyone I talk to. Batteries like RELiON’s give you long-lasting energy throughout the whole day, and they don’t weigh you down. They give you everything you need to be successful in the sport.”