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Wisconsin fisherman offers cash reward for lost gear bag

Travis Dushek says some of the items in the bag are irreplaceable
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 8:51 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 22, 2021 at 5:51 PM CST
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PORTAGE, Wis. (WMTV) -A Wisconsin man who lost his beloved gear bag for ice fishing is now offering a cash reward to whoever finds it and returns it.

“I really couldn’t replace the stuff in that bag. A dollar sign to me isn’t something I’d put on it,” said Travis Dushek.

Dushek says he is an avid outdoorsman and fisherman. He was ice fishing on Long Lake outside of Portage on Sunday and when his day was done, he packed up all his gear and began hauling everything away on his four-wheeler. He believes sometime during his trip back to shore; his gear bag fell off his sled and onto the ice.

Dushek says a lot of gear inside that bag has sentimental value.

“I had some custom stuff built from my uncle and some assorted baits that my grandpa gave me throughout the years and those are some things that money can’t really buy to replace them,” he said. “I almost died with that bag. I couple years ago I put my truck through the ice and that was the only thing I got back from that truck,”

A couple days later when he was packing up his gear to go fishing again, he realized his bag was missing. He headed back to Long Lake in the off chance it was still there.

“I was driving around the lake looking for my bag, so I know someone picked it up on the lake that I was fishing on, I put some feelers out on Facebook and posted some signs around the lake,” said Dushek.

The gear bag has been missing for almost a week
The gear bag has been missing for almost a week(Travis Dushek)

Still, no one has come forward to say they found his bag. Dushek estimates there was $800 worth of gear inside.

“Yeah, money can replace most of it. I can buy new poles, new tip ups, and new baits but some of the stuff I’ll never see again unless someone kind-heartedly has found it and gives it back to me,” he said.

He says he’s offering up to $200 and a free lunch to anyone who finds the bag and returns it.

“It would mean pretty much the world to me if I got it back, that’s why I put a reward out,” he said. “Hopefully someone didn’t just think they hit a gold mine and maybe if it’s in the right person’s hands, I might see it again,”

The bag is long and gray and has black straps and trim. It has the Gander Mountain logo on it.

If you think you know what happened to the bag, feel free to reach out to reporter Tim Elliott at tim.elliott@nbc15.com and he can connect you with Travis.

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