OCONTO - For the second consecutive year Oconto is playing host to the AIM Pro Walleye tournament. After hosting events around the country, the organization has cut back its schedule to just this event.
Tournament director Kory Mitchell explained why Oconto makes an ideal location.
"Facility and fishery are the two big things. You guys have a wonderful fishery; a lot of money was spent on it. It's a great place to hold a tournament and on top of that Lake Michigan is just a wonderful fishery," Mitchell said.
You'll notice something different at this event when boats pull into shore. There are still plenty of anglers, rods, and reels. What's missing is the fish.
"They're going to catch their fish throughout the day and when they do they're going to take a picture of it, record it, measure the fish, take a photo of that and get it right back in the water so we're protecting the resource that we have," Mitchell explained.
That's the catch, record, and release method or CRR. The anglers don't mind tossing back their hard-earned catches.
Mario Nanna of Green Bay is one of the pro anglers taking part in the event. He sees the CRR method as a positive and it's one of the reasons he's supported the event.
"I like the fact that we're releasing these fish to grow up. You know there's a lot of big fish out here in the system and to see them all come in when the water's 80 degrees and then die that's kind of a sad thing."
Mike Bisdorf, a pro angler from Dubuque also liked the format.
"You can fish any time of year any body of water with this format," Bisdorf.
After having calm conditions during pre-fishing, the anglers were thrown a curveball in round one, fighting steady 25 mile per hour winds. With weather conditions likely to change rapidly throughout the weekend the anglers say you have to be ready to adjust at a moments notice.
"You have to have a plan A, B, C, D and sometimes you get through all of those plans and you're still scratching your head going. You just have to know when to pull the trigger and find something different," Nanna explained.
Bisdorf added, "If you're fishing deep water and the wind starts blowing like today you want to move shallower to make the fish more active. You've just got to be two steps ahead of the game."
Whoever stays ahead of the fish and fellow anglers will cash the first place prize for the week.
Marinette Marine is preparing to christen one of its Littoral Combat Ships.
A survey of local businesses looked at employee numbers and overall outlook for the coming year.
Those who do go to the Packers-Falcons game Sunday will help honor a green and gold legend.
The cold caused some problems in the Fox Valley Friday.
A donation from an area bank will be making a difference in the years to come for Green Bay East High School.
A Pearl Harbor survivor was given a special honor Friday morning at Green Bay East High School.