Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Tija Berzins and Mike Destree © Julie Henning

Tija Berzins and Mike Destree attended sturgeon spearing on Lake Winnebago earlier this year.

December 2014

Angling for a new romance?

Fall in love with, and while, fishing.

Story and photos by Julie Henning

A survey published by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) in October 2013 showed that two-thirds of couples have gone boating or fishing with their spouse or significant other. Sparking a discussion about romance on the water, RBFF created the infographic on the next page to highlight the survey results.

Key findings are light-hearted statistics including the idea that 38 percent of men are impressed by a woman who can bait a hook, and 60 percent of women and 58 percent of men would be game for going fishing on a date.

An affordable and accessible way to add excitement to any relationship, both fishing and boating can be playful, exciting, romantic and relaxing. Fishing activities are as varied and personal as the unique relationship between two people, and how you fish with your significant other is something that evolves over time.

From an intimate first date in the confines of an ice shanty, to floating through the lazy days of retirement, we went out and asked anglers about their love lives. Here are some couples who angled for romance and took to it — hook, line and sinker.

When Jessica and Mike Corliss first met, the couple had their love for the outdoors in common.

"We didn't meet fishing but we did have one of our earlier dates out ice fishing," Jessica recalls. "I met Mike on Lake Parkway after work, and we spent the evening eating supper and fishing out in an ice shack. Being in an ice fishing shack is an intimate situation. The main focus is fishing but you are also sharing time with another person in a little shack, walled off from the outside world."

For Chad Theis, of Waukesha, and Nicole Skauge, of Milwaukee, fishing is about teamwork and friendship. The pair met at a hunter safety class and have been enjoying outdoor activities together, including deer hunting and spearing for sturgeon on Lake Winnebago. Chad notes that any outdoor activity shared by two people can involve the kind of light–hearted competition often found in close-knit families.

"We tease each other and it makes the time pass and makes things fun," he explains. "We also help each other with loading up the gear and getting everything ready."

Tiffany Venne, manager of Dutch’s Trading post in Fond du Lac, knows firsthand that fishing is about spending time with the people you love and sharing in the excitement when someone makes a catch.

"Any time you can find something you can enjoy as a couple and spend time together, I think that’s great," Venne adds.

One of life’s simple pleasures for New Richmond residents Dennis and Ginny Moon, is fishing together. But it means something entirely different to the long-time couple than it did when they were raising two boys. Winding down into their retirement years, the Moons enjoy recreational kayaking and portaging the Boundary Waters by canoe — catching fish wherever they go.

"Now that our kids are grown, we don't have to worry about having to plan around the kids' schedules, feeding them, or keeping them entertained," Ginny explains. "Fishing is something we enjoy doing together. Sometimes I swim around the boat or just sunbathe while Dennis is fishing. For us it is a peaceful activity and we don't have any competition. Dennis actually enjoys watching me have success catching fish. But I think the only way it can be a 'couples' activity is if you both enjoy the sport."

For more information about the RBFF survey, visit Take Me Fishing Newswaves October.

Hook, Line and Sinker


Julie Henning is a freelance journalist from Madison. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, three children and black Lab. Read more of her stories at WisconsinParent.com.