One of the summer highlights in Sauk City and the Lake Wisconsin area of south-central Wisconsin is fast approaching. What I’m talking about is the 13th annual “Take an Adult Fishing Tournament” at the Wilderness Fish and Game store in Sauk City, Wisconsin. This year the free event is scheduled for Saturday, July 27, at the Sauk City store. The purpose of the family event is to provide a fun activity that promotes a healthy lifestyle and get children together with their parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, guardians, and friends in the outdoors. This family-orientated event is the highlight of the summer for many children and their families. There are even families from Illinois that plan their vacations around the tournament and make sure that they are at their summer homes or on vacation in the area at the time of the event.
The rules of the tournament are very simple; teams must follow all the state of Wisconsin rules and regulations. Teams may fish anywhere that they choose as long as they return by the 2:00 pm weigh-in time. Teams meet at the Wilderness Fish and Game store at 6:00 am for the check-in, a few words on the rules, when to return, and a prayer for safety while on the water. The tournament is a rain or shine event, so plan accordingly.
There can be any number of participants on an individual team and each team needs to have an adult or guardian over 18 years old to accompany them. The annual event usually ends up with about 80 teams and over 200 entrants. Some of the locations that teams fish are; the Wisconsin River, Lake Wisconsin, Devils Lake, Fish Lake, Crystal Lake, Lake Delton, Lake Redstone, and some teams even make the trip to fish the Madison Chain of Lakes. We have always had some great catches by the children no matter what the weather has been in previous years. Teams fish in all kinds of boats from 14 foot V-hulls to 20 foot bass and walleye boats. There also are teams that fish the local shores of the Wisconsin River and do very well! So, don’t let the lack of a boat prevent you from entering and fishing the tournament.
The tourney has six fish categories for prizes; bass (both large and smallmouth), walleye/sauger, catfish, panfish, trout, and roughfish. Trophies and other prizes are given to the first and second place finishers who also receive a trophy. All teams receive a “goodie bag” when they register in the morning with fishing gear, DNR materials to read, and a cap or t-shirt from the tournament. There are many companies and individuals including; Fuchs Trucking, Frabill, Off Shore Tackle Company, Berkley, Northland Tackle, Don Becker Law Office, and the National Association of Professional Anglers (NPAA).
The NPAA donated t-shirts and fishing material for the children and many NPAA members will be on hand to help run the weigh-in and answer any fishing questions people may have about fishing. Robert Blosser, Joe Okada, Wally Banfi, Terry Frey, Jim Kloth, Duffy Kopf, and Gary Engberg, all NPAA members will be on hand for the event and the weigh-in. Being the MC for the tourney, I’ve been able to talk to the crowd and tell them about the NPAA and the wonderful things that they are doing at events like this one all over the country. The slogan the NPAA uses is “It’s All About the Sport” and getting more and more young children involved in fishing and the great resources that Wisconsin and most other states have for young anglers to take part in and hopefully make a part of their future lives. Fishing is a life-long activity that you can participate in at some level your entire life!
The Wisconsin DNR always comes through with some interesting things and knowledgeable people. Warden Greg Stacey will bring the invasive species exhibit and I’m not yet sure who else from the DNR will be on hand to congratulate the teams and parents for taking advantage of the great fishing that the DNR provides for its citizens. Local Sauk County Warden John Buss is usually on hand and we’ll also have some other DNR officials helping with the tourney. In the past, we have had Fisheries Manager, Mike Staggs, past DNR Secretary Scott Hassett, past DNR Secretary Matt Frank, and we hope to have DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp one of these summers. Past DNR Secretaries Hassett and Frank talked to the crowd about the importance of taking our youth fishing and participating in outdoor related activities as much as possible with Wisconsin having some great opportunities for the youth all over the state. There is always time for computers and games, but Wisconsin has so much to offer everyone that getting children involved in the outdoors at an early age is paramount and very important in their early development. It has been shown in studies that children introduced to fishing and the outdoors at a young age are more inclined to continue these activities as they grow older and later in life. Events like “Take an Adult Fishing” are very important in getting children involved in the outdoors in healthy life-long activities at an early age.
The fishing is usually good with children catching a four pound smallmouth bass, a three pound walleye, a one pound bluegill, a seven pound carp, and a five pound channel catfish in last year’s tournament. But, what you catch is not the main objective. The purpose is to get outdoors and take advantage of the great natural resources that we have in Wisconsin with family and friends. If you get a child involved in fishing at an early age then you may have a fishing partner for life! I look forward to seeing you there at this first-class, professionally run event. Thanks to all who make this event possible especially store owner, Tom Lochner, and his great staff including Larry Wipperfurth, Wayne Whitemarsh, Wally Banfi, and Chuck Pohlman.
Registration forms can be picked up at the Wilderness Fish and Game store in Sauk City, Wisconsin and call (608)-643-5229 for more information. I’m also available for questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.