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Ice Keeps Many Fishermen on Shore for Opener

Posted at: 05/04/2013 5:24 PM
Updated at: 05/04/2013 6:12 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
manderson@wdio.com

It may be May 4th, but the view of Lake Namakagon in Cable for the Wisconsin Governor's Fishing Opener looked more like winter. The Cable area was hit with 17 inches of fresh snow this week, but that didn't stop anglers from trying to fish this historic opener.

It did, however, stop Governor Walker from making the trip to Cable for the annual event. Organizers said he will return to Lake Namakagon in the coming weeks to fish.

Opener weekend still went ahead according to plan, but with 22 inches of ice still on the lake in some places, fishing this opener was tough.

"I drove around here all day yesterday and there is no place to launch your boat," said fishing guide Joe Weiss.

Weiss ended up fishing from a canoe, but like other fishermen, he had no luck.

"We tried fishing a little bit this morning, no luck," said fisherman Brian Read. "I unfortunately got a tree."

Tom Rice has been a professional fishing guide for nearly 40 years. He was supposed to guide Gov. Walker during the opener.

"I was looking forward to a whole stringer of fish, but then we got this," said Rice.

Rice said in all his years of fishing, he has never seen an opener like this one.

"It couldn't be worse conditions," said Rice. "This is unreal."

With plans to return in two weeks, many fishermen said Gov. Walker may have better luck catching a fish then.

"In another couple weeks, he'll have a lot better luck than we would have had today," said Weiss.