High School Anglers Growing in Numbers

MARINETTE, Wisc (WBAY) High school teams from around Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula will compete tomorrow in Marinette on the water.

It's also why Marinette history teacher Luke Maulding became a coach recently, after seniors Riley Thill and Brandon Dahlman had an idea.

"Kind of wanted to start getting kids together to go fishing more, kids like us, we do this all the time, this is nothing new for us, but there's kids that don't get the opportunity to do it like we do," says Thill.

By the first of the year, Marinette had joined more than 50 other Wisconsin high schools with a fishing team.

"I like the fact it's a competition, it's a team so they work for a common goal, but they can just get out there leisurely as well, we have kids that have been fishing since they were this big and we have kids that have never touched a fishing pole, and they invite in this club anyone that wants to be," says Marinette High School Principal Justine Braatz.

"When they catch a fish, lot of smiling, lot of laughter, happy, high-fiving," adds Dahlman.

"Not only the kids interest, but the community has been great, they've opened their hearts and they're willing to do whatever they want to get this fishing team started," says Maulding, who serves as the team's head coach.

Fishing clubs and a number of local businesses help sponsor the team that's already grown to 30 anglers.

"In the future it's going to be a way to keep them off video games and social media and get them outside on a beautiful day like today," says Keith Waloway, President of Marinette-Menominee Great Lakes Sports Fishermen.

For Riley and Brandon, fishing on the bay today is serious business.

"Fishing brown trout shallow, running raps and spoons," says Thill about their strategy.

Tomorrow, Marinette host the 1st Annual Early Bird Team Tournament.

And fish like the 12 pound brown trout they landed this morning, will go a long way in bringing home the trophy, for the heaviest brown trout and walleye.

"Very confident, I know we'll get some fish," says Thill with a smile.