Pictured from left to right: Andrew Schaaf, Trevor Koeppen, Riley Mansell and Alan Oliver. (Submitted/SLN)


By Chris Bennett

Sports Correspondent

It is seemingly every fisherman’s lament – catch more game fish.

The Waterford Union High School ice fishing team felt the sting of that ages-old adage Feb. 17 in the 2018 Wisconsin Interscholastic Fishing Association State Ice Fishing Championship in Minoqua.

The Wolverines sent four fishermen – Andrew Schaaf, Trevor Koeppen, Riley Mansell and Alan Oliver, and finished 55th out of 80 teams due to a lack of game fish in their catch.

“Not having the northerns or bass really hurt us in the final standings,” coach Mike Schuster said. “The kids fished hard all day, and the parents that made the trip really made the experience a great time.”

Schuster said the Wolverines had about 2,600 acres of fishable waters between Minoqua Lake and Tomahawk Lake open for the event.

The Wolverines pre-fished the area on Friday, but a cold front on Saturday morning – the day of the tournament – scuttled some of their plans and shut-down the fishing.

Waterford could fish from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, with the weigh-in beginning at 2 p.m.

Competitors could catch fish in two categories: gamefish, which consisted of up to five northern, five bass and one walleye; and panfish, which consisted of up five bluegills, five perch and five crappie.

Schuster said the Wolverines moved to a new location on Saturday, in the hope of getting a mixed bag of species around a bay of weeds.

“We quickly caught our limit of bluegills, but didn’t produce any gamefish in what looked to be a promising area,” Schuster said. “Late morning, we decided to move to deeper water, with a different bottom structure, and were marking fish on our electronics.”

Schuster said the Wolverines managed just one bite out of their second location – a good-sized perch.

Waterford finished with a point total of 20,16. Neenah won the state title with a point total of 269.75.

Schuster said the team was filmed for the Larry Smith Outdoor Show, and might be on television. The show airs on Fox Sports Wisconsin and Fox Sports North at 7:30 a.m. each Sunday, and also on CW 18 at 11 a.m. each Sunday.