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The lure of pro fishing: Kiesow building skills for walleye tour

Aug. 6, 2020

By Ed Byrne

The Brillion News

BRILLION – When his step-father took Jason Kiesow fishing, it planted the seed. He and Shelley Hansen mostly fished for bass.

Now it is harvest time for the Brillion man.

At the National Walleye Tour’s stop at Oconto the third week of July, Kiesow placed fifth among the 120 amateur co-anglers. Next summer, Kiesow plans to be on the same tour as a professional competitor.

“I wouldn’t go into it full time, because I don’t have enough [sponsorship] backing,” Kiesow said. “I will keep my current job ... [but] I have enough vacation that I can take off a week at a time.”

He works for a Manitowoc fabrication company.

Kiesow is getting into pro fishing on a route laid out for him by experienced competitive fishermen.

“They recommended fishing the [amateur] co-angler side for at least two years to kind of learn tricks and what you’re looking for, how to take care of your stuff and all that,” Kiesow said. “That’s why I’m fishing [as a co-angler], to learn, have fun and hopefully bridge the knowledge gap.”

Kiesow has only been targeting walleye for seven or eight years.

“The thing that turned me on to tournament fishing, and the reason I bought the boat I did, was a buddy I used to work with,” Kiesow said.

The two entered a tournament as a pair.

They took 73rd place in a field of 320 teams. Kiesow feels he still has some learning to do.

“I’ve fished some other tournaments, and I haven’t done real well,” he said. “I feel like I’ve done well pre-fishing, then when tournament day comes, the weather changes, and I don’t make the right adjustments.”

Please see the complete story in the Aug. 6, 2020 edition of The Brillion News.



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