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Youth take on ice fishing at Wausau youth fisheree

Published: Feb. 21, 2021 at 5:56 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Sunday’s Wausau Optimist Club’s youth fisheree was able to encourage kids to go ice fishing.

“It’s just nice to be out with, I mean, my brothers are out there and my cousins and things,” explained Marcus Arneson, who was fishing with much of his extended family, “And just being able to come out to an event like this is really cool”

The over 40-year long fundraiser for the club was originally scheduled for last week, but the cold forced them to push it back.

“They decided to wait until this week,” said long-time Wausau fisheree club member DuWayne Witter, “which was a good idea because now we have snow instead of cold”

Some kids were able to haul in big fish.

“We’ve caught some fish, but we’ve caught some pan fish. This is a bigger northern coming through the hole,” explained Arneson, whose son, Abe, caught a large Northern Pike.

Some kids even invented songs to get the fish on the hooks

“Fishy, fishy in a lake. Come and get my little bate,” sang Cole Zemke, who said occasionally the fish would respond to the music. Sunday, he didn’t have a bite.

Others simply had no answers.

“There’s no fishes biting my pole,” said Camden Walters.

Sometimes it can be a struggle, but the goal of the event is to encourage them to stay active

“They get out there and have a little fun and realize they’re in Wisconsin, which isn’t too bad compared to the rest of the country right now,” Witters said.

And the joy of seeing a kid proudly hold their fish up is priceless.

“I think he was surprised and a little surprise, in shock in a way,” Arenson said about his son catching the Northern.

“It’s just fun when you catch a fish. You get very excited,” said Walters.

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