While most teams on the campus of the University of Wisconsin are in summer break mode, one team is in the thick of their season. The UW Fishing Team will compete in a tournament later this week in Wabesha, MN for a chance to qualify for the National Championship.
The fishing team is one of roughly 40 club teams at the UW.
“I wear the hat that says fishing team, people look at it and say fishing team?” said current club president, Waunakee native Colin Steck. “We have 60 to 100 members at times.”
Some in the club fish just for fun, others compete.
“You can talk different baits that you are using and hang out,” said Michael Beam, a McFarland native, and member of the fishing team. “It’s a group that is really interested in the same thing.”
Founded in 1996, The Wisconsin Fishing Team competes in collegiate FLW, ACA, and B.A.S.S. tournaments around the Midwest. This week in Minnesota the top boats can qualify for Nationals in FLW.
“We’re sending four teams, so eight individuals. A lot of us are taking off work. I think one team is already there now,” said Steck. “We’ll have another two days, this Wednesday and Thursday before the tournament to scope it out, find a few more spots and hopefully send a few teams to the National Championship.”
Travel for tournaments can also be a challenge for the club, and expensive. The team does have sponsorships from Minn Kota, Humminbird,13 Fishing, St Croix Rods, Rapala, Tackle Warehouse, BBlades, and The Boat Doc.