Walleye Weekend is a party centered around weighing in the biggest catch.
“It’s kind of a mini-vacation for us,” said Tim Lynch, a former walleye tournament winner. “We fish in the two big tournaments every year and have a great time.”
The festival is four decades strong with 302 teams trying to outdo each other.
And winning is not exclusive to the fishing.
“We’re hoping with Walleye Weekend to raise somewhere around $30,000,” said John Cooper, co-chair of the Kiwanis Club of Fond du Lac.
The majority of that comes from cheese curds.
The Kiwanis Club has been selling curds at event for 35 years.
“The first year, we did 50 pounds, believe it or not,” said Cooper. “This year, as of this morning, I’ve done 2,200 pounds.”
Those mouth-watering golden brown balls of cheesy goodness will send your taste buds on a trip.
“It’s cheese, it’s warm, it has a nice light batter on it,” he said. “And also, we do serve it with a beer. What’s more Wisconsin than that?”
The vendors collectively raised close to $300,000 and it is only possible because of the nearly 100,000 people attending through the weekend.
“Walleye Weekend’s always a good time here in Fond du Lac,” said Tyler Mortier, a local who spent multiple days at the event. “It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year.”
And it can get a little crazy between all the fishing.
“I actually went to Boogie and the Yo-Yo’s last night and I lost my shoes,” said Mortier.
They’re a good band that was playing last night and they had it packed from the stage to the street. It was awesome, but I lost my shoes. ‘How’d you lose your shoes?’ I’m not quite sure.”
Arrangements are already being made for next year’s Walleye Weekend.