The 3rd Annual "Kids Learn to Ice Fish" event was held on Saturday, January 26th on Blackhawk Lake in Highland, Wisconsin. Even with the below zero temps the event was a success, with lots of laughs and smiles all around! Trevor Olson and his wife, Alissa, did an amazing job putting this event together, as well as everyone that volunteered! Today, I will be sharing some of the moments I captured and what the kids were able to learn.
The morning started off with a chilly temp of -17 degrees. We were unsure how many kids would attend due to the weather conditions that have harshly hit Wisconsin over the last several days. Fortunately, the temps did not stop kids and their parents from coming out to enjoy the day. Before the fishing began, the DNR came out to teach the kids about fish species and explained how the walleye are stocked in Blackhawk Lake. Then, Trevor stepped in and talked about ice safety, which is an important topic that all new anglers should learn. Then, the kids grabbed their buckets and poles, which were generously donated, and divided into the pop-up shacks with volunteers.
While in the shacks, the kids were shown how to read a flasher and how to jig for panfish. The bite was slow, which was expected due to the major cold front that has been hanging around. As the day went on the perch seemed to get a bit more aggressive. A handful of kids were able to pull up their very first fish, which was exciting for everyone.
Along with jigging, the kids were taught how to set up and use a tip-up. The flags were a no show for quite some time. Until finally, someone shouts "FLAG!" (click here to watch the tip-up action) Some of the kids ran from the shacks to see the excitement. To be honest, I believe the adults were just as excited as the kids, especially when the spool began spinning quickly! Two volunteers worked together to successfully bring the fish to the surface for the kiddos to see, which was a Northern Pike. A quick photo was snapped and the fish was released back into the lake. Two other flags went up after that but no fish to show.
As the day continued the kids fished more, played games, and at a lunch that was provided by the Highland Lions Club. During lunch, names were drawn for the donated fishing poles and hats. The best part is each kid went home with a prize and an additional goodie bag.
This was my first time helping with an event like this and will certainly not be my last. I am blown away by the dedication and time spent planning/organizing for this event - via Trevor, Alissa, and everyone volunteering. Sure it was darn right cold but the kids had fun and learned something new; that is the important part! For more action from the Kids Learn to Ice Fish event check out Badger Sportsman Magazine, as they will be posting a video from the entire day. If you're a parent and would like to have your child participate in an event like this, contact your local DNR and Sportsman's Clubs.
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