Wounded veterans invited to fish Wisconsin's Pewaukee Lake bass tournament June 14
The Wisconsin Alliance of Bass Tournament Anglers (WABTA) event set for June 14 will benefit the Wounded Warriors In Action (WWIA) group. The tournament will run from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Gina’s Sports Dock on Pewaukee Lake. Based on last year’s results, there should be several combat vets who leave the lake smiling, thanks to a good day on the water with lots of fish keeping them busy.
Event organizer Ryan Chuckel, of Delafield, said that he loves working on the project in part because his father and grandfather served in the armed forces.
“I’ve been fishing WABTA events for years, but a group of us started talking at a meeting that we had to get more involved with the community,” he said. “We needed to do more than just fish for each other’s money during tournaments. We felt that getting wounded combat vets on the water was a great way to do that.”
WWIA provides sporting activities as a means to recognize and honor combat vets for their sacrifice to our country. One day they might set up a vet with a deer hunt. Another day they might match up a vet with a salmon fishing guide. In this case, they pair up vets with bass anglers.
“Our event is sort of unique in that most of the time WWIA pairs up a vet with a specific activity or they have a fundraiser for the organization,” he said. “Our event does both. Not only do we get a handful of vets out on the water, but we also have a fundraiser at the same time.”
According to Chuckel, if the fishing is even close to as good as it was last year, there should be heavy weights at the scale to go along with the Purple Hearts in the boats.
“Pewaukee Lake is on an upswing,” Chuckel said. “Last year it took 30 pounds to win with just six bass. I would say it would take at least 24 pounds this year. The big news is how healthy the largemouth bass are in the lake right now. This tournament has traditionally been won in the spring by catching smallmouth bass, but it was dominated by 4- and 5-pound largemouths last year.”
While normally a person must pay a fee to join WABTA to fish an event, if the angler has never fished a WABTA event, the fee will be waived. To fish the event itself, the entry fee is $125 per boat (two anglers) Typically, the tournament pays out the first seven to ten places, depending on how many anglers sign up.
There is no charge to show up and watch the weigh-in, which will begin at 2 p.m. After the weigh-in is completed, a band will play and there will be drink and food specials for the family, as well as raffles to raise money for WWIA.