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Walleyes Unlimited hooks up with veterans

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Updated: November 14, 2012 2:57PM

The Walleye Unlimited USA fishing club held it’s annual Wounded Warriors outing on the Chain O’ Lakes at recently, and a 15 club members showed up with boats to share a day of fishing with Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

“Almost every boat caught some walleye and a variety of other fish like crappie, bluegill, white bass, etc,” said Walt Koch. There were five member guests and eight veterans on the outing.

“The most successful of the fishing teams used live bait,” he said, and a few of the fish were caught on lures.

The fishing expedition departed from the Fox Lake American Legion facility (they are always gracious hosts) at 7 a.m. and then returned for a 2 p.m. lunch.

“The weather was glorious, with clear skies and light winds at the beginning of the outing,. However, the wind did pick up in the afternoon, along with the pleasure-boat traffic,” Koch said.

One of the oddities of the day was a bunch of pleasure boaters dressed up as pirates. “What was that all about,” he wondered.

The buffet feast included chicken wings, Italian beef, pasta, and salad with homemade cookies provided by Carol Larsen.

“We shared our fishing reports and conducted a 50/50 raffle. From the discussions at lunch, it appears everyone who attended had a good time,” said Koch.

He wanted to give a special shout-out to Carol for her cookies and her husband Dick for coordinating the outing.

American Legion Post 703 waived its launch fee.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources allowed anyone to fish this outing without the purchase of a fishing license and the Fox Waterway Agency waived the daily access sticker fee.

Don Lansu coordinated the veterans to attend and took a lot of great photos.

Last, but not least, were the 13 club members who volunteered their boats to take the veterans fishing: Dick Larsen, Carl Kaufmann, Mike Downes, Frank Walter, Bob Clark, Don Kenik, Warren Scaman, Bill Micheli, Eric Ehrhardt, Charles Ungs, Rick Swanson, Jerry Zegar, and Walt Koch.

I had the honor of accompanying them last year and it is a really great event. All the veterans I talked to after last year’s outing really enjoyed themselves and appreciated what the club did for them.

The club is a Waukegan- based one that holds meetings on the second Wednesday of each month at the Root Lanes, 7220 W. Rawson, Franklin, Wis., and the last Wednesday of the month at the Gurnee American Legion on Grand and Route 21 in Gurnee.

Guests pay $5 to attend and meetings begin at 7 p.m. and in November you can see Jim “Crappie professor” Kopjo and Warren “BlueiceCPA” Scaman talk about early ice-fishing opportunities on Nov. 14 at Root River Lanes.

Yes, it is getting to be that time of year.

At the American Legion on Nov. 28, Rick Krueger will talk about underwater observations and side-scan technology on the Madison (Wis.) Chain.

This is one of the few clubs to be inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2007.

Membership costs $40 for a new member over 65-years-old, but you get the club newsletter and Midwest Outdoors mailed to you.

Under 65-years-old costs $65 for the same package. There are some other options which you can see at www.walleyesunlimit

Visit Cheeseland today

The Wisconsin DNR, in conjunction with Salmon Unlimited, Trout Unlimited and Kenosha Sport Fishing and Conservation, will hold the annual Root River Steelhead Facility Open House from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Root River Steelhead Facility, 2200 Domanik Dr., Racine today (Saturday).

They will be collecting eggs from trout and salmon to produce the next generation of fish to test Lake Michigan anglers.

Everyone is encouraged to attend this fun-filled event, whether you’re a novice angler, a veteran angler, or just like to eat fish!

Enjoy guided tours of the facility with DNR crews demonstrating fish spawning procedures, fishing rod casting lessons, knot tying, fly-tying, and more.

Additionally, Salmon Unlimited cooks will feature several of their favorite recipes including smoked salmon, fish boil, salmon dip and salmon patties.

There will also be three talks sponsored by Salmon Unlimited: At 10:30 a.m. is “Lake Michigan Fishing 101” by Craig Bender of Treble Hook; At 11:30 a.m. “In Depth King Salmon Fishing” by Tom Pietila of Sea Nile Too; and at 2 p.m. “Putting it all together to produce” by Jim Mueller of Stormtrooper.

The Fly Washer boat will also be on display for demonstration of Lake Michigan rigging.

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