OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – Thousands of anglers descended upon Lake Winnebago for the annual ‘Battle on Bago’ ice fishing tournament.
Although temperatures were cool on day one of the tournament Friday, unseasonably warm weather earlier in the week raised concerns about ice conditions.
“Conditions out there are decent if you pay attention,” said ‘Battle of Bago’ board member Todd Reuss.
Organizers of the event recommend foot, snowmobile, and ATV travel on the ice only. They said on day one of the ice fishing tournament one person went through the ice on an ATV. That person wasn’t injured and organizers said the person had gone over a stretch of ice that is widely known among anglers as being unsafe.
Organizers encourage anglers to check out the tournament’s Facebook page for ice condition updates. Local ice condition expert Donnie Herman also posts ice updates on his company’s Facebook page Sunk? Dive and Ice Service.
‘Battle on Bago’ is a two-day tournament that offers thousands of dollars in prizes. Organizers structure the prizes so that everybody that catches and registers a fish has an opportunity to win big, not just the best anglers with the most impressive fish.
“You never know what you’re going to catch, could be a walleye or a blue gill just makes it interesting every single year,” said Kyle Hennell who is fishing in the tournament with some of his friends.
Organizers say thousands of anglers will participate in the tournament and that it takes dozens of volunteers to make the event happen. In addition to tracking the weight, length, and species of fish that everybody catches, there’s live entertainment and food and drink stations manned by volunteers.
“Big party, everybody is having drinks there’s a fish fry we’re just about to get some so everyone is excited,” said Parker Gabrilska who is one of the anglers participating in the tournament.