Fishing season kicked off in Minnesota this weekend, but across the state border, Wisconsin was also celebrating the start of open water season. In this weeks Get Outdoors, Meteorologist Adam Lorch heads to the Chippewa Flowage to check out a popular fishing tournament.
Treeland Resort, located just outside Hayward, sits on the Chippewa Flowage and has been there since the beginning.
Tatum Treland-Schlapper, a 4th Generation Resorter, said “My family has been on the land since 1912. Chippewa flowage wasn’t formed until 1923. So the resort began with my great grandfather in 1928.”
When the Chippewa River was dammed, it created a vast area of lakes and wetlands.
Tyler Treland, also a 4th Generation Resorter, said “With the islands it takes up a little over 17,000 acres of land, about 15,000 of water. We’re 200 miles of shoreline is on it and it’s just vast bays and channels.”
And at Treland Resort, they celebrated the start of the fishing season with a tournament.
Tatum said, “This is our 35th year and we have 315 entrance this year all the way from two months old into their 80s.”
The flowage is known for having a wide variety of species, from walleye to large muskies. But the bite for the tournament this year was a little slower.
Tyler explained, “Been getting a lot of the walleyes in the shallows with crank baits that I’ve been pretty good. Some of the jig minnow up shallow but it’s been a very scattered bite most of the guys have been finding. A few nice fish have been coming in though.”
In the end, there will be winners for the biggest walleye and bass, both of which are released.
But for some, this tournament means more than just catching the biggest fish.
Tatum said, “There’s a lot of professional tournaments that are around so this is one the weekend after fishing opener get everyone out on the water, get the family out on the water.”
It’s a way to reconnect with each other and the outdoors.
Tyler said, “A ton of old, repeat customers and guests that are up that I’ve been doing the tournament for as long as I’ve been alive. So, it’s just fun a lot of families and friends, everyone getting back together again. Good times.”
Bob Blankenheim caught the biggest walleye.. at 26 and a half inches.
Brandon Clemens caught the biggest bass measured at 19 and three quarter inches.