An Amazing Midwinter Moment

Victoria Fire Chief Andrew Heger said they estimated approximately 850 people at their annual Fishing Contest on Sunday, February 3rd, held as usual on beautiful Stieger Lake in downtown Victoria.  Weather Service said the temperature of 10-15 degrees felt like 0 degrees.

Mark Jesberg of Victoria had manned his hole for 45 minutes when he felt the tug, reeled in the fish, pried out the hook, and rushed to have it weighed.

It came in at 2.01 pounds, big enough for Mark to win the 1st Predator Prize of $250.

The northern was released back into the lake and the exciting moment was over!  The editor had happened by at just the opportune time to capture it for the Gazette.

Ten seconds earlier or later and the story couldn’t be told in pictures.  Not just exciting, but also amazing.  Does Mark usually attend the Victoria Fishing Contest?  “Every year,” he replied.  “But the contest is secondary.  Talking to people is most fun.”

Mark would have been part of this group photo but he was off getting his prize fish weighed.  The annual fishing contest seems to require an annual photo of the annual reunion of this most august group (or should we say this most february group?) of Victoria guys, all past and/or present residents of Victoria, some of whom are also fishermen.  Front (l-r): Mike Wartman, Dale Carroll, Tom West, Dan Schneider.  Back: Steve Jesberg, Randy Schneider, Doug Raser, Chuck Weber, John Schneider, Brian Schmieg, Jeff Chapman, Dan Schrempp.

Tony Vogel missed out on being in the group photo but he still got caught.

Fire Chief Heger said that a large majority of the proceeds from this event will be used for the Victoria Fire Department Centennial Celebration on July 13th, 2013. 

Neither John Michel of Victoria nor his sister Julie Widmer of Prior Lake were found wearing gloves on this very cold day.  It’s hard to bait a hook while wearing gloves.

Al Orsen, left, and Victoria Firefighter Gary Sohns talk about work and weather.

Victoria Firefighter Glen Row and his son Derrick make a good team.

Victoria Firefighter Tim Stedman and Keith Schmieg pose with “Field of Dreams” by Jim Hansel.  It was one of several substantial prizes awarded in drawings that took place during the 2013 Fishing Contest.  The print was donated by Paul Vogel Construction of Victoria and won by Tony Schrempp of Victoria.

These children of Victoria firefighters were selling Girl Scout cookies on the lake, pulling a few boxes along in their sled.  Eva Hukriede, left, is the daughter of Jason and Melissa Hukriede.  Kate Nordeen is the daughter of Jeff and Kari Nordeen.

Serving hamburgers in the tent (l-r):  Nolan Hukriede and his mother Melissa Hukriede (wife of Firefighter Jason Hurkiede), Jessica Heger (wife of Fire Chief Andrew Heger), and Jackie Mahon of Eden Prairie (girlfriend of Firefighter Jason Hesse).

Steve Ische, almost finished with the hamburger, was on the lake with his Neubarth inlaws.

Five-dollar buzz cuts were given by Bill Burch, who works for Joel the Barber, and that’s Kyle Wall under the razor.

Victoria Firefighter Troy Walsh and his girlfriend Stephanie Wagener take care of logistics and statistics from inside one of the trailers.

Snow and breeze increased as the afternoon wore on. By 2:30 everyone began to close up shop and leave the ice.  The 1,060 holes drilled by the Victoria Fire Department also began to close.  Thank you, Victoria Firefighters, for another Amazing Annual.

The End