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Brillion fish team reels ‘em in

Community businesses help with supplies

By David Nordby

The Brillion News

May 19, 2022

A complete version of this story appears in the May 20, 2022 print edition of The Brillion News.

BRILLION – While others stayed bundled up inside for most of the winter, dozens of Brillion High School students were on the ice helping to grow the Brillion fishing team. The fishing has carried into the spring and summer competition season.

With the help of coach Chris Gade, the team has quickly taken off in student participation and community help. This was the team’s second year, and they are members of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Fishing Association (WIFA), a group that helps oversea school fishing teams.

“We had a group of kids that were interested in starting a fishing team, so I said I would start it up and then the Brillion Conservation Club jumped on board right away,” Gade said.

Gade is a biology teacher at Brillion High School and has been with the district since 1997. He is also the district’s softball coach.

The Brillion Conservation Club holds an annual ice fishing raffle dinner, so the two fit naturally together. The conservation club donated items to help the team get started last year when it had 18 students join. This year, there are 32 students signed up for the fishing team.

“We had about 16 or 17 that were pretty active,” Gade said.

Tournaments start the first weekend of January.

“They come to an end at the state fishing tournament, which is usually the third weekend in February and now they’re starting to do some spring and summer open-water tournaments also,” Gade said.

Ice-fishing is done in an ice shack.

“The nice thing about ice-fishing is everybody can go together, and we have shacks and stuff that everybody can fish in one spot,” Gade said.

In the open-water season, it is limited to a few people in a boat fishing.

“Which means kids have to have access to a boat, so that becomes a major expense and a little bit more difficult to organize,” Gade said.

The conservation club stepped up for the team again this year.

“Since we don’t have anywhere to store all of our stuff and things like that, they donated a 16-foot enclosed trailer to the team,” Gade said.

Wenzel Trucking donated the lettering for the trailer. Hardware Plus in Brillion donated a heater and propane. Bernzomatic in Chilton is going to donate propane each year for heaters.



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