Wisconsin man lands 30,000th smallmouth bass
I remember when Bill Schultz, of New Berlin, called me when he was easing in on smallmouth bass No. 25,000. He was excited, and I knew if I’d hear from him again when he neared 30,000 – I just didn’t think my phone would be buzzing only about a year later.
“Hitting the water that Monday and knowing my first fish was going to be 30K had me a little anxious as I was hoping it would be at least three-plus pounds,” Schultz said.
In 20 feet of water, the 30,000th smallmouth bass of Schultz’s life accepted one of his favorite baits – an amber tube.
“When it hit and I began reeling I could tell it was a good sized one, which gave me a great feeling!”
Schultz, like many anglers, got his start in fishing from family
“My dad grew up fishing with his dad in Manitowoc,” he said. “My brothers and I grew up fishing with our dad for perch on Lake Mendota and some trips to Canada.”
While he catches smallmouth in a variety of places, Schultz said that roughly 60% of his smallies came from rivers and 40% from Door County. While he had fished for other species before, once he got bit by the smallmouth bug, it was an infectious passion that persisted.
“Like many after high school things I got busy and I didn’t fish much,” he said. “I focused on my career and racquetball. The fishing bug bit again in 1991 and we got our first boat in 1992. I would go to Madison to fish for perch and various places for largemouth bass. I caught my first smallmouth bass in May of 1994 on Delevan Lake and was intrigued with that great bronze look and how hard they fought, no matter the size.”
Schultz began fishing the Sturgeon Bay area in spring of 1995 and by 1998 smallmouth bass were all he was chasing.
“I have not lost the excitement for these great fighters and love chasing them while wearing my waders in small Wisconsin Rivers, or from my boat on Sturgeon Bay, or from one of my fishing kayaks.”