How to Hold a Musky (and other info)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Wisconsin Outdoors

Paul Malm, Moville, Iowa, holds a 49-inch muskie which weighed 38 pounds. He caught the fish this fall on the Little Sioux River.

WHITEWATER, Wis. - With nearly 15,000 lakes and 33,000 miles of rivers and streams in Wisconsin, it's a wonder more state universities don't have what UW-Whitewater has - a fishing team.
Adam Eisele and Jason Hoffmann started the team in spring 2005, giving Whitewater the UW System's second fishing team. UW-Madison was first.
"Basically we give students the opportunity to participate in the outdoors with people around their same age who have the same interest," Eisele said. "It's also to have an opportunity to compete in something that's not ultra-competitive."
The UW-Whitewater Fishing Team has about 25 members, mostly young men and a handful of women.
Eisele's interest in starting a Whitewater team was sparked when he met a member of the UW-Madison team while working at a Gander Mountain sporting goods store in Madison.
He met Hoffmann at the Madison Fishing Expo at the UW-Madison team booth.
After learning they both attend UW-Whitewater, they teamed up to start the organization and spread the word around campus.
The fishing team is set up much like other campus organizations. Student fees are used for some funding, but most of the group's money comes through fundraising.
Though still in its infancy, team has held a bass fishing tournament against the UW-Madison team and two club tourneys to raise money.
In mid-October, the team hosted an open tournament on Rock Lake in Lake Mills, and 20 percent of the proceeds went toward the team. The rest went to prizes.
Team members solicited sponsorships from tackle and marine companies and even gas stations to help pay tournament costs.
"We need all the help we can get because we don't have much money and fishing is a pretty expensive sport, especially with travel expenses and entry fees," said Doug Rosenthal, a 20-year-old junior.
Local sponsorships also were sought from area businesses, Rosenthal said, and free gear came from St. Croix Rods, Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, Reaction Innovations bait company and Power Pro Line.
In August, Eisele and Rosenthal participated in the College Smash Mouth Bass Championship on the Arkansas River in Pine Bluff, Ark. They finished ninth out of 25 teams, 6 pounds shy of making the cut for the final day of the bass tournament.
In late October, Eisele and Rosenthal took the next step to make the team a force on the circuit by heading to Texas to compete in the National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship.
The two are among the more serious members on the team, but the club is open to anyone.
"We're not just limiting the students here to just bass fishing," Eisele said. "While there is a lot of tournament-type competition right now, we have guys who like to walleye fish and muskie fish. It's all across the board."
While college fishing clubs are just starting to catch on in the upper Midwest, they are common at southern schools, Eisele said. Most schools in the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12 Conference have fishing teams.
"We're not fully on the college circuit," Eisele said. "It would be nice to eventually have enough money set aside that maybe we could work with the university and get a boat that could be sponsor-wrapped."
Information from: The Janesville Gazette,


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