MOSINEE, WI (WSAU) - World Ice Fishing Championship. There really is such a competition, and the masters of hard-water fishing are converging on the Big Eau Pleine Flowage this weekend. Teams from around the world travel to this tournament, which is held in a different country each year.
Team USA’s Mike Boedecker says ice fishing here compared to across the ocean is very different. “The biggest difference between U.S. fishing and European fishing is we drill holes and we go to our fish, we go find our fish. They do a lot of ground baiting, basically is chumming, and they drill very few holes and they chum them and wait until the fish come to them, and that’s the biggest difference other than the size of the fish.”
He says we usually go for bigger fish and bag limits in America, but in Europe, it’s more of a speed fishing contest to see how many of any size you can catch in the shortest time.
Mike Boedecker says the fish species are very different, and the fishing tactics are too. He says his European counterparts have to adjust to American fish much like they had to adjust to smaller and different species over there. “The Europeans are still a little behind the learning curve on our bluegills and crappies, but they can catch perch with the best of them.”
Sweden’s Andreas Wetterhall says the different fish and sizes will make them try everything. “Everything’s different, the fish is totally different, they act in other ways the the fish in Europe, so everything’s new. You have to try everything from real shallow to real deep and edges and everything.”
Russia’s Igor Chinyakov says they don’t have many of the common panfish we have in America. There’s really only one species of fish that’s similar to what they have back home. “Only yellow perch is like our European perch, so for different kind of fish it means a different kind of behavior of fish. It means different fishing techniques and tactics.”
Both Wetterhall and Chinyakov were in here three years ago when the World Ice Fishing Championships were held in the Rhinelander area. It’s a long flight, as Chinyakov had to catch flights from Moscow to Istanbul Turkey, then to Chicago before the drive to Wausau. That’s a fishing trip.