Dale Sternhagen of the New London Fish and Game Club said that the 37th annual Whopper Weekend was a big success.
Anglers registered 519 fish during the three-day contest. Most of them were healthy post spawn females. Fish and Game Club volunteers registered 175 fish on Friday, 160 fish on Saturday and 184 fish on Sunday.
Anglers had to deal with rising water levels and high winds on the water Saturday and Sunday afternoon, but most didn’t seem to mind after warming up to a hot buffalo burger in the Big Whopper tent.
“We sold out of buffalo by 11 a.m. Sunday morning,” Sternhagen said. “All total through the weekend we cooked 350 pounds of buffalo burgers, 190 pounds of hamburger, and 720 pounds of French fries,” he said.
Kenneth Rehbein of New London (rural Manawa) won the grand prize Polaris Ranger utility vehicle. He purchased his ticket at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon in the Big Whopper tent.
He was already home for the day when Sternhagen gave him a call following the afternoon drawing.
“Hello Kenneth. This is Dale Sternhagen from the New London Fish and Game Club. Have you got a trailer?” Sternhagen said from his phone on the Big Whopper stage. “All right, well you’re going to need it, because you just won the grand prize Polaris Ranger.”
Rehbein was into New London within 15 minutes to pick up his prize.
“I was a little shocked, Rehbein said. “I’m 72 years old, and I never won anything before.”
Numerous other prizes were given away and dozens were present to claim their prizes on the spot.
Those not present for the raffle drawing will receive a letter by mail, informing them of where they can pick up their prize.