Anglers take advantage of free fishing weekend

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ALTOONA, Wisc. (WEAU) - ALTOONA, Wisc. (WEAU) - Anglers throughout the state took advantage of the warm weather Saturday, in Wisconsin's first-ever free ice fishing weekend.

"I like the taste of fish, and I like the taste of free," Joseph Keppert of Eau Claire, who brought his 3-year-old son Cullen fishing on Lake Altoona Saturday, said.

"I seen ‘em advertising in Wisconsin that there was free fishing all weekend. So I wanted to take advantage of that, my boy here loves to fish and we don't have our licenses, so I figured what better time to come out and do some fishing," Aaron Zillmer said.

Zillmer took his son Cody out Saturday for the first time this year, on Lake Altoona for a chance to reel in a lunker.

"You get on the lake sometime and you see four or five people out there, there's not many kids out there, I think it's a great opportunity to get the kids out there and to teach these future generations out there what we're doing and what this is all about.

And the kids are learning.

"This is the favorite sport and favorite thing to do when I'm off of school ... because you get to go outside and I like to fish a lot." "(I'm) trying to catch more fish than one fish," nine-year-old Devan Scheffler of Elk Mound said.

Scheffler said he's been fishing since he was three-years-old and hopes more will try it during the free weekend.

"They can try a new thing, and then if they like it, they can go fishing more ... and they can get food for their family.

"Knowing that it's a free weekend, everybody can come out. It doesn't matter who you are, what you're doing, you can come out and fish and have a good time and just be out here with the family," Zillmer said.

(It's fun because it's) family time, getting away from the wife, hang out with grandpa," Keppert said. "I don't have a license, makes it great."

"I'll definitely be out there again still. I'll probably go get my license now again, it's got the itch back," Zillmer said.

"I hope a (tip up) flag goes up still today," Scheffler said Saturday.

Soon, he got his wish catching a 22-inch Northern.

"I'll be fishing my whole life until 90 something," he said.

The free fishing continues Sunday and returns again in the first weekend of June.

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