Last Weekend for Ice Shanties on Lake Wausau

By: Casey O'Halloran Email
By: Casey O'Halloran Email

John Reitz and his ice fishing crew have enjoyed this Winter season. "Not too bad. It's been hit and miss. Some days we get 15 or 20 fish. And some days we get none," he says.

The group has brought their shanties together every weekend for the past few months, but now their Winter fun is coming to an end. The DNR mandates that all ice shanties must be off Lake Wausau by Sunday night.

So in the morning, these guys will have to pick up and go. Reitz says, "You just unbolt the ceilings, stack the walls, put it on a trailer and away it goes."

And if they don't have it off the ice in time, they'll have to pay a hefty fine of $263. Many anglers have already packed up their ice shacks. A few weeks ago the ice was covered with dozens of shanties, but now there are only a few left as the season ends.

But the fishermen that are left, they're definitely having a good time. I visited a few "shanty parties" this afternoon, and they're all giving it one last hooray.

Reitz says, "We've got food, we've got fish. We're gonna cook up some venison. Just sort of a last season go at it!"

Most of them don't seem to care if they catch any fish during this last weekend, because it's more about having a good time with friends than anything else.

Another fisherman, Ray Bodenheimer says, "It's fun with the people. You've gotta have the people. You've gotta have the camaraderie, if you're not out with a good group you're not gonna have a good time."


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