Battle On Bago Ice Fishing Tourney Wraps - WBAY

Battle On Bago Ice Fishing Tourney Wraps

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Lake Winnebago -

Organizers of the Battle on Bago ice fishing tournament in Oshkosh are tallying up this year's success after as many as 7,000 people hit the Lake Winnebago system Friday and Saturday.

For the first time in its seven-year history, organizers expanded the event to two days of fishing.

A long line of anglers stretched across Menominee Park in Oshkosh anxious to get inside a giant tent for the final weigh-in.

The tournament's last day brought an extra sense of excitement.

"Just a chance to win a truck, a boat and just to get away with the boys for the weekend. So, and, it's the end of the ice fishing season, and it's a nice way to close it off," Gary Anders, of Sturtevant, said.

With some big prizes going to the top catches, anyone could hit the big one.

"I think I'll be in the top 700," Bill Schulz, of Baraboo, said.

Battle on Bago raised $500,000 dollars for kids' fishing programs and conservation efforts over the last six years.

And, organizers say it's their biggest year yet.

They sold more than 8,000 fishing tickets and hope to raise $300,000 dollars from the two-day fishery.

"We doubled from last year...and, last year was a record year. So, it was a significant growth and we have the crew to handle it," Glenn Curran, a Battle on Bago committee member, said.

The snow, high winds and wet conditions were some of the factors out on Lake Winnebago this weekend. People in the tournament say conditions did improve on the final day.

"The road conditions are pretty good, a little treacherous in some spots, there's some big slush holes. It was much wetter yesterday. Today, things are a little bit more solid," Schulz said.

As the tournament brings people from miles away to Oshkosh, this year's success should give the local economy a lift, too.

"This is my fifth year up here, we put a lot of money in their economy that we normally wouldn't have..and we look forward to coming back next year," Anders said.

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