LAKE WINNEBAGO, Wis. (WBAY) - Sharpen that spear - sturgeon season is here. It's a big weekend in Northeast Wisconsin as thousands are expected to take to the ice for sturgeon spearing.
Lake Winnebago is buzzing today. Sturgeon spearing season is about to begin. Not only are spearers cutting holes and setting up shanties, but excitement is building.
"Being a prehistoric animal and this is pretty much the only place you can do it in the United States, that's it, I just think it brings the people here," says Wayne Blatz from the Friendship Fishing Club.
But thinner ice, this year, appears to be keeping more people on shore. Fishing clubs around the lake cautioning people about conditions seems to be impacting the number of spearers setting up today.
According to Blatz, "There's probably only 20% shacks out here, right now, compared to what there normally is so it's down quite a bit."
Those who are venturing out are being extremely careful, taking it a lot slower and with much less weight.
"This year is a little different, we've got to take 4-wheelers and it will be several trips to the shore and out, but it's going to be a little more time consuming but we'll make it work," says Kyle Musack from Kohlsville.
Because spearing is about much more than just the fish. Corey Schulz from Kohlsville adds, "The camaraderie, you know, with the guys and hopefully someone gets into one this year, been on a pretty good dry spell so."
One that spearers hope is broken, since there will probably be less people on the ice this weekend.
Kyle Musack says, "That was something that crossed my mind that there will be a lot less people and hopefully the fish are swimming a little more closer to our hole and we get lucky because it won't get speared beforehand."