Fish ‘n Chips

                 Each year the Victoria Fire Department plans its ice fishing contest for that first weekend in February and takes what it gets for weather, letting the chips fall where they may.  Some years it’s below zero and windy as hello.  Some years it’s 40 to 50 degrees with puddles of water flooding the surface of the ice.  This year the temperature was in the mid 20’s with snowflakes gently falling throughout much of the afternoon.  In other words, the chips landed in a good spot.  The crowd was the biggest ever with maybe 350 cars parked on the Stieger Lake, supported by ice two-feet thick, plus dozens of vehicles parked on the shoreline and even more on the landing at the top of the hill.  More than 800 holes were drilled and many fish were caught.  All prizes were awarded, including for the largest predator (a 4.26-pound large mouth bass by Jim Miller) and largest panfish (a .23-pound sunfish by David Clayton).   The fish ‘n chips were good in 2010!

Jacob, son of Jeff, from Buffalo.

Wayzata City Manger Al Orsen and daughter Jenny Norgaard traversed the perimeter of the fishing scene with Editor Sue and enjoyed seeing many familiar faces and also new faces.  Said Jenny, “I see your pictures in the Gazette every year, Mom, and now it’s fun to see the real thing in person.  Very interesting.  Very fun.  I’ll have to tell Addie and Gunnar that I didn’t go fishing without them, but just hung out with Grandma and Grandpa.”

Four Victoria men sans fish but they’re laughing like something’s fishy.  From left to right that’s Victoria Firefighter Rick Leuthner, Tom Gray (City of Victoria Building Official), Rick Plocher (Owner of Floyd’s in Victoria), Loane Burau.  Every now and then throughout the afternoon, Rick was putting a gift into the coat pockets of a passerby.  Thank you, Mr. Plocher.

Serving the multitude, Victoria firefighters in one of the tents included (l-r) Erik Kemppianen, Clint Matvik, Dave Shoger, Joe Forrer, Laura Wood, Jason Hesse, Heather Breckheimer.

Tim Peterson of Victoria.

Victoria City Administrator Don Uram “absolutely” had a good time at the Fishing Contest, “except my feet froze,” he said.  “My boots are a 1982 model so I need to upgrade.”  Did he catch any fish?  “I didn’t actually fish because I don’t have a license, but my brother and nephew did,” he replied.  Did he enjoy the food?  “Sure.  It was fantastic to have our local establishments participate at the level they did.”  Did he slide into anybody he knew?  “Mostly fishermen.”  Did he win any prizes?  “No, I didn’t,” he said, “but Nola from city offices did.”  Administrator Uram has lived in Eden Prairie more or less since 1985.

Justin Thomson of Chanhassen.

The sliding hill on the eastern shoreline of Stieger Lake is popular for many of the kids who prefer it to fishing.

Interrupted for a moment in his fishing expedition, Daryl Schmieg of Victoria (seated) poses with former Chaska High School classmate Jenny Orsen -- oops, Norgaard -- and his fishing brother David Schmieg and daughter Taylor, 8.

It’s not fish ‘n chips, it’s beef ‘n chips, and that’s Daddy Jason Neubarth of Hamburg with his children Elizabeth, 4, Billy, 14, and Charlie, 11.  They didn’t catch any fish but they caught the editor’s eye.  The kids’ grandparents are Wayne and Mary Neubarth of Victoria.

Patrick Henning of Victoria.

Staying warm by the fire and enjoying the camaraderie of a fine day on the lake are Victoria residents (l-r):  Haley Notermann, Rhonda Notermann, Paul Jesberg, Steve Harincar, Kristi Harincar, and Jen Chapman. 

Working the grill behind the scenes, Victoria firefighters doing the burgers and brats are (l-r):  Bill Blinstrup, Jeff Nordeen (in back), Mike Coume (front), Scott Lumby (tall), Mat Weber (with one ‘t’), and Steve Schmieg (middle initial ‘R,’ not ‘M’).

Retired firefighters help out every year at the Fishing Contest and in other ways.  Left to right that’s Roger Leuthner (34 years a member, retired in 1993), Editor Sue Orsen, Marvin Storms (32 years a member, retired in 1992), and Jerome ‘Chub’ Schmieg (21 years a member, retired in 1993).a

Love, Sue