Ice Fishing on Lake Stieger

Till Next Year ...

It was Sunday, February 1st, 2015 — Super Bowl Sunday, which means it was also the day of the annual Ice Fishing Contest on Stieger Lake in Victoria, sponsored by the Victoria Fire Department.

It was 16 degrees and sunny, but there was a strong wind from the northeast that made visitors and fishermen stronger as they braved the afternoon.

About the only way to get on the lake was on foot.  The ice was only about 12 inches thick and so vehicles were not allowed to line the perimeter of the fishing location as they often do.

Thank you, Dave Roberts and Koch Bus Company, for rides back and forth from downtown to the lake.

Donna Lubbers of Chanhassen (seated) caught a 2.5 lb. northern for 4th place in the Fishing Contest.  Some of her family on the lake included brother Doug Schmieg, kneeling, and (back, l-r) Dana Schmieg of Cologne, husband Bob Lubbers, Dawn Dammann of Victoria.

Olaf (from the movie “Frozen”) hugged children and children hugged Olaf.  Said Laura O’Neill, “My mom, Ann O’Neill, made the costume.  It was a blast on the lake.  The kids loved seeing Olaf.”

“Dave Barsness, my partner at Cornerstone Insurance, helped steer me around and passed out candy,” said Laura.  “And I was warm as could be, thanks to the extra layers.  What a great event.”

Councilmember Joe Pavelko and daughter Lucy, 4, also loved Olaf.  Later Joe said, “My fingers feel normal again.  We didn’t catch any fish, not even a cold.  Alicia and Marcus stayed home and warm.”

A flank of four fishermen (l-r):  Kim Neubarth (wife of Eric), Jason Neubarth of Hamburg, Eric Neubarth of Norwood Young America, and Nolan Conley of Chaska.  Jason and Eric are sons of Wayne and Mary Neubarth of Victoria.

A daunting group of several residents at Deer Run made another trip to the annual Victoria Fishing Contest and improved their rate of success:  Last year no nibbles, this year one nibble.  They didn’t reveal their names, but they revealed they came to support the Victoria Fire Department and the local community as well as to win raffle prizes provided by local businesses.

At first John Heiland of Victoria had four grandchildren in the picture.

And then there were seven.  John is holding Charlie Heiland.  Evie Heiland is next to them.  In the front (l-r):  Julia Heiland, Thomas Vanderlinde, Mike Heiland, Evan Heiland, and Jake Heiland.

Firefighters Bryan Pyne, left, and Jared Hammer manned the Weigh Station.  Largest fish of the day was a 5.11 pound northern.  Many fish were caught and many prizes were won.

Julie Starkey of Victoria with daughter Emma, 10, and family pet Sasha, 5, riding the bus back to town.

Thank you, Victoria Fire Department.  It’s always a fun occasion.