Summer Fun for Children and Their Families!

by Free Speech on August 6, 2012

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Shannon Vils with Sand Sturgeon



This will be the last time this year that I’ll write about the “Kids Take an Adult Fishing Tournament” that the Wilderness Fish and Game store has now sponsored and run for the last 12 years. But, it’s difficult not to talk about such a wonderful and positive event for children and their families when much of the news that you now hear is negative. This is an article that is positive and I try to explain that the event’s purpose is to get children and their parents or guardians together in the outdoors. The vehicle that is used to get people together is fishing and enjoying the magnificent natural resources that we are blessed to have in Wisconsin.

The staff of the Wilderness Fish and Game store and the numerous volunteers started arriving at the store parking lot and stage (donated again by Fuchs Trucking) in Sauk City around 5:00 am Saturday morning. Everything was ready to go except a few minor details as the teams began to arrive for the 6:00 am rules meeting and brief prayer for a safe day by Bill Been. There ended up being 83 teams registered and close to 200 participants. There were many “sleepy” eyes, but so parents told me that their children were so excited that they could barely sleep Friday night!

The tournament rules were simple; be under 16 years old and have a registration form signed by their parents for guardians, follow all rules and regulations in the DNR fishing booklet, fish any waters that you want from shore or boat, and return to the stage and store by 2”00 pm for the seminar by National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) Youth Director, Greg Karch. Karch drove all the way from Appleton to give his seminar to the kids, parents, and on-lookers. Karch is a professional angler and NPAA member who has put together a great “Fishing Basics” program which he does at fishing tournaments and kid’s events around the state and Minnesota.

The NPAA is an organization of pro anglers, guides, manufactures, and anyone interested in promoting the sport of fishing. Membership is $100. a year and well worth the investment if you’re an angler. There’s a convention every winter, weekly reports, a website with members bio’s, discounted gear from member companies, and a chance to speak your mind while promoting the sport you love.

There were a few teams that came early with the hot temperatures, but a vast majority of the 83 teams fished most of the day. All teams were in by the 2:00 pm deadline and NPAA members handled the weigh-in on a digital scale and posted the weights for each category on the blackboards. The six categories of fish were; panfish, catfish, roughfish, walleye/sauger, largemouth/smallmouth bass, and trout. All species of fish were caught during the tournament. With the hot weather, catfish were the number one fish caught along with sheepshead. But, there were some good gamefish caught considering the hot weather.

While fish were being weighed and tallies made, Greg Karch did his informative seminar for the kids and parents. Greg’s program is a big plus and centers on many of the basics children should learn as they get into the world of fishing with different kinds of knots, rigging, fish identification, safety, and casting to name a few of Greg’s main points

Every child received a “goodie” bag with fishing related goods and equipment donated by the many sponsors and companies. Hat, t-shirts, sweatshirts, fishing gear, and fishing reading material was in all the kid’s bags. Winners in any of the categories received a trophy, rod/reel, ruler, and net. Second place winners received a trophy and a spin cast rod/reel combo. There also was a random drawing for the donated gifts and everyone went home with a “goodie” bag and other great prizes.

The winners were; Bass, 1st Sam Vils, 2nd Chase and Tony Havel. Walleye/Sauger, 1st Austin Breunig, 2nd Jennifer Lord. Trout, 1st Cooper Gordon, No second place. Panfish, 1st Owen Diehl ( a 1.22 pound bluegill), 2nd Noah Pearson and Hayden Feiner tied. Roughfish, 1st Emily Vils, 2nd Hayden Feiner. Catfish, 1st Mason Kaufman, 2nd Olivia and Ava Flanagan. Attorney Don Becker, who has been a great sponsor over the years, also donated 3 rods and reels to Emily Vils for the largest fish caught by a girl, Owen Diehl for the largest bluegill, and Logan Walker for the biggest smile. Thanks Don!

The sponsors include; Fuchs Trucking, Bob Lochner and Family, Arlington Agronomy, Sauk Prairie Hospital, Mueller Sports Medicine, Wisconsin Community Bank, M and I Bank, Pepsi, Culver’s, Unity Health, T.J. Catering, Don Becker, DDO Communications, Frabill, Rapala, northland Tackle, Pure Fishing, WTDY, WTSO, Off Shore Tackle, N.P.A.A., Jim Kloth, Robert Blosser, Duffy Kopf, Wally Banfi, Gary N-Ski, Wisconsin DNR, Fisheries Director Mike Staggs, Warden Gregg Stacey, Warden John Buss, and anyone that I may have forgotten.

Now that you’ve gone fishing as a family, try to keep fishing and enjoying the Wisconsin outdoors and the many natural resources we are blessed with. They are there for you and the children to use and enjoy!

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