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Green Bay Packer linebacker Brian Noble enjoys tackling a record-busting catch.
Given some spare time, some fishing gear and ample opportunities on thousands of ponds, lakes and rivers, you have instant fun. Add a program like the Anglers' Club and you can savor the fishing moment with a memento.
The "Hooked on Wisconsin" Anglers' Club started last year to recognize Wisconsin anglers for their exceptional sportfishing catches. Resident and nonresident anglers can qualify for club membership in three categories:
The Anglers' Club enjoyed a successful inaugural year: 65 fish were entered by 55 first-year members – mostly Wisconsin residents, but fishers from seven other states made the roster. Thirty-six fish of 10 different species were entered in the Live Release category. Several of the largest fish caught and released in the program in 1996 were a 49" muskellunge, a 42 1/4" northern pike, a 32 1/2" walleye, and a 21 3/4" smallmouth bass. A 47" hybrid (tiger) musky, a 40" northern pike, and a 21 1/2" smallmouth bass were several of the 23 fish (15 species) registered in the Kept Fish category. The largest fish registered last year was a 43 1/2", 48 lb. flathead catfish from the St. Croix River.
You may recall that each year an angler who releases and registers a lunker will be awarded a replica mount of the large fish. George Liske of Stetsonville, Wis. was the lucky angler for 1996 for his 46-3/4" musky from Holcombe Flowage, Chippewa County. George's replica will be displayed at the DNR exhibit at the Wisconsin State Fair in August. Come take a look.
Why not try and join the club this year! Look for information at your nearest WDNR office, or write: "Hooked on Wisconsin" Anglers' Club, Bureau of Fisheries Management and Habitat Protection, 101 S. Webster St., PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921. Good luck, tight lines, and get "Hooked on Wisconsin" fishing!
Karl J. Scheidegger is a fisheries biologist and manager of the Anglers' Club for DNR's Bureau of Fisheries Management and Habitat Protection. Other sponsors include Uncle Josh Baits, Mercury Marine, Muskies, Inc., the Musky Club Alliance of Wisconsin, and the Department of Tourism.