Fishing Family of Fourteen

The annual Ice Fishing Contest sponsored by the Victoria Fire Department is always held on Super Bowl Sunday from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.  This year the date was Sunday, February 2nd, 2014.  As usual, being out on Stieger Lake for the Fishing Contest is more fun than watching the Super Bowl.  The food, the company , the fresh air, the prizes, the bonfire — all of it especially outshined the Super Bowl this year.

Love, Editor Sue

They’re like fish.  They used to spend time together in a school and they enjoy the middle of a lake.  I’ve come to cast an eye for them at the annual Victoria Fishing Contest and I reeled them in again this year!  A fishing family of friends, their roots in Victoria are historical.  If you count them, you’ll only get to thirteen.  The fourteenth, Mike Wartman, is invisible because he’s only there in spirit.  That’s how it is when you’re living in a castle in Scotland for a while, teaching and traveling.

Left to right:  Mark Jesberg, Bob Jesberg, Tom Hedlund, Chuck Weber, Joe Chapman, Randy Schneider, and Jeff Pro-Fisherman Chapman …

… Did I say Jeff Pro-Fisherman Chapman?  Also (continuing left to right) Lee Schneider, Tom West, Paul Johnson, Doug Raser, Brian Schmieg, and Dave Beneke.

Fishing brothers:  Mike Schleicher of Victoria, left, and his brother Andy Schleicher of Norwood.

Fishing sisters:  Sandy Tufte, left, of Plymouth and her sister Joyce Diethelm of Victoria.

This year there was an igloo at the Ice Fishing Contest which housed a scale for weighing the fish that were brought to them from this catch and release lake.  That’s Victoria Firefighter Jarred Hammer inside the igloo and Victoria Firefighter Ryan Rivers outside.

Four in a foto (l-r):  Tim Wessels of Victoria, Steve Roble and daughter Sarah of Carver, and Mark Vandervest of Victoria.

Dave Buss of Victoria took a minute to call his mother and see how his kids were doing without him.

It wasn’t the biggest fish in the lake by far, but it was a fish and it was caught by a fisherman and it was photographed at the Victoria Ice Fishing Contest by the editor of the local newspaper.  That’s Joe Laumann of Norwood Young America weighing in with his catch, somewhat under one pound.  Many fish of many sizes were caught that afternoon.  The fish scale in the igloo had a good workout.

Brian Mulleady of Watertown holds his fishing pole and his daughter Killian.  Friend Riley McMahon holds her teddy bear.

See those white enclosed tents on the left side of this photograph?

It was the Enki Brewing tent, where John Hayes, left, and Dan Norton were helping to “make the world a friendlier place, two beers at a time.”  Enki, a microbrewery, came alive in downtown Victoria in 2013.

Tim Thoma of Victoria brought a contraption to the Ice Fishing Contest that is equipped with a camera that works like a drone.  Several fishermen saw it flying over the crowd.  Tim kept his “toy” safe in the Enki Brewing tent when he was out fishing.

The ice on Stieger Lake was around three feet thick this year, according to Firefighter Rick Leuthner, bearing witness to our Midwest Deep Freeze.  Since they drilled 1,000 holes, that means the firefighters drilled through 3,000 feet of ice.

Inside that yellow tent we could buy delicious body-warming hot chocolate and other hot foods such as pulled pork sandwiches and bowls of homemade chili with all the toppings and tacos deluxe!

All the Victoria firefighters worked for the Fishing Contest in many different ways including setup and take-down and preparation of food.  Firefighters selling chili, hot chocolate and candy that afternoon (l-r):  Jason Hukriede, Laura Wood, and Mike Mulheran.

Dave Roberts of Minnetrista has been driving a school bus five years for the Victoria Fire Department, hauling people between their cars and trucks and the lake and downtown Victoria.

Mr. Roberts, not related to the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty, brings his Vikings staff with him to the Victoria Ice Fishing Contest because he is, in the depths of his heart and soul, a fan of the Minnesota Vikings and one day the Vikings may again make it to the Super Bowl.

Whether you’re coming or going to the annual Victoria Ice Fishing Contest, this is the landmark.  It’s where you turn to get down to Stieger Lake.  It’s a good place to turn to get into downtown Victoria, too.  Thank you, Victoria Fire Department, for bringing another wonderful event to our community.