Great Lakes club keeps kids fishing

Townsend, Wis. — The Great Lakes Bass Anglers kept up a longtime club tradition of hosting an annual kids tournament July 1 at the Townsend Flowage.

The B.A.S.S. Nation club held its Annual Kids Fishing Tournament which drew 130 youngsters ranging in ages from 5 to 16. The tournament has been in existence for 36 years and averages around 135 to 140 participants each year, according to Kyle Carpenter, Great Lakes Bass Anglers club president. “(The kids) comes from all over,” Carpenter said. “There are people from Illinois. There are local people and some from upper Michigan.”

Participants could either fish from the bank or from boats provided by parents or club members. Fifteen club members volunteered to help run this year’s event. 

The young anglers registered at 7 a.m. and were allowed to fish until 1 p.m. “This year a lot of fish were registered,” Carpenter said. He noted the majority of fish caught were bluegill and rock bass.

Proceeds from the tournament were donated to the Brown County Vest a Dog program that provides bullet proof vests for the Brown County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit. The tournament had served as the club’s annual fundraiser, but this year Carpenter decided to give back to the community by donating the proceeds to the K-9 Unit program.

Carpenter credits Warren Thomas for founding the kids tournament when he was with the Lake Country Bassmasters. “He was pretty much the brains behind (the tournament) when the bass club he was in started it,” Carpenter said. “He was always a big pusher of it and always wanted to help the kids.”

When the Lake Country club dissolved, the Green Bay Bassmasters took over the event for several years, Carpenter said.  The Green Bay Bassmasters also dissolved but the Great Lakes Bass Anglers kept the tournament alive when they took over the event about four years ago. 

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