Anglers find dead pig caught in logjam on river
By John Faucher
A mid-summer bass tournament held at Riverside Park brought out six teams of 12 veteran bass anglers on Saturday, July 25.
Three quarters of the field ventured up river to try their luck at smallmouth bass and two teams gambled on the largemouth bite downriver.
Anglers reported early morning action, shortly after the tournament start time of 7 a.m.
Teams could weigh in one, five bass limit, at the 3 p.m. stop time.
All six teams brought back a limit, but reported borderline heat stroke conditions on the water for the afternoon.
Several teams reported an unusual sight in the river between Hortonville and New London.
Anglers noticed a foul smell caught up on a logjam off shore. Closer casting and inspection revealed a dead pig floating in the water.
“Are you sure it was a pig?” One angler asked after the tournament.
“I could see its hooves and snout clear as day,” said Jim Christian of New London. “I casted a bunch of times near it because I thought for sure there would be a fish around it,” he said. “There were a bunch of bugs and flies all around it, I thought that might attract fish, but there wasn’t anything there.”
Christian reported catching a good amount of smallmouth bass throughout the first few hours of the morning.
Christian landed over 17 keepers and put five “decent ones” in the live well by 9 a.m.
“The rest of the day was a struggle to keep cool and in the shade,” said Christian. “You have to work a little harder and run your equipment more often to keep the fish healthy in this heat.”
Long time fishermen John Hutchison and Travis Muskevitsch had no problems catching either. They reported an abundance of keepers caught in their search for “big fish” throughout the day. They boated five nice fish early in the day, all smallmouth bass.
“Hutch” stole the show with his 3.99-pound smallmouth caught on spinner bait. The fish earned him the “Big Bass” award and helped the team finish in second place overall for a total weight with 13.37 pounds.
Matt Nelson and Tony Heuer were on fish too, however, the tides turned for the worst with several key fish slipping away before a net could be deployed. “For a while it was like a circus in the boat,” said Nelson. “Oh well, that’s fishing I guess.”
Many of the teams reported catching incidental walleye while in pursuit of bass.
The team of Kevin Herrmann and Dan Herrmann had several walleye boated along with their five bass. The walleye were released to conserve on live well space.
The walleye took artificial worms and crank baits. Three other boats reported walleye and northern pike as incidental catches.
The Herrmann’s five bass weighed 10.36 pounds for fourth place overall.
Rick Rieckmann and Jeremy Muskevitsch were the only team bringing in a limit of five largemouth bass for a total of 13.21 pounds and third place overall. Rieckmann’s 3.3 lb largemouth fell three ounces short of big fish.
Jim Christian registered five smallmouth for 15.04 pounds and first place. His big fish weighed 3.14 lbs. He reported catching most of his fish on top water baits and a few on plastics off deeper edges.
Greg Stilen Jr. Memorial Bass Tournament
The third annual Labor Day bass tournament (formerly Chiller’s Tournament held on the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend) will take place out of Riverside Park in New London on Saturday, Sept. 5.
This year the tournament name will change to the Greg Stilen Jr. Memorial Bass Tournament.
The tournament will run from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a pre-tournament meeting at 6:30 a.m. at the landing. Entry is $100 per team up to 19 teams, with an 80 percent payout. The remaining funds will be used for improvements to the park in Greg’s name.
The number of places paid out will be determined by vote at the meeting and the number of boats entered.