Fishing opener nets catches for some, memories for all

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by Lane Kimble

PEWAUKEE -- The start of the fishing season means something special to brothers Norm and Marv Groom.

"Opening day tradition," Marv said.  "Our goal is to try to hit all the lakes. As many lakes and streams as we can and there's a lot of them."

Saturday, the brothers cast their lines into the west end of Pewaukee Lake, hoping its rumored high fish population would help.

"We thought we'd try Pewaukee lake today," Marv said.  When asked if they had any success, he added a definitive, "No."

Other anglers had better luck.

"Best shot at getting a really big fish," UW-Whitewater student Tyler Zimmerman said.

Buddies Andrew Mlotek and Zimmerman nailed two smallmouth bass in a tournament for the university.

"Everyone gets excited because you can't come out on these lakes, you can't fish for game fish, so everyone gets all ready," Mlotek said.  "On opening day, you look in the parking lot, there's tons of boats.  Everyone's amped to get out."

DNR Conservation Warden Matt Groppi makes sure people get out safely and are following the rules.

"Make sure you have your life jackets, check the regulations, if you haven't renewed your fishing licenses make sure you do so," Groppi said.

The warden added everyone he checked on Pewaukee Lake Saturday was good to go.  Groppi says the water temperature and winds made things slower for most, but there's no doubt the opener is a sign of spring.

"Finally go out and catch some fish and be on the lake and not be freezing inside," Zimmerman said after releasing his bass. 

"I was getting cabin fever, definitely," Mlotek said.  "It was great to be out today."

Poll

Which of these new Wisconsin State Fair snacks are you going to try?

  • BBQ Chicken Cone
  • Deep Fried Maple Bacon Cookie Dough
  • Reeses Funnel Cake
  • Deep Fried Racine Kringel