Valuable fish awaits anglers for Jig's Up contest

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LAKE WISSOTA, Wis. (WEAU) -- There's something lurking underneath the frozen top of Lake Wissota.

The fish, a 16 inch perch, tagged for Saturday's Jig's Up Blugold ice fishing contest on Lake Wissota.

On Saturday, hundreds of anglers will once again try to reel in a very valuable fish.

"16 inch, I think, a perch and we dropped that on the lake in an undisclosed spot," Dan Schumacher, athletic director for UW-Eau Claire, said to WEAU 13 News on Friday.

That fish will be the focal point for the 5th annual Jig's Up Blugold ice fishing contest - a fundraiser for UW-Eau Claire athletics.

"It's just as big as our annual golf outing, as it comes to supporting Blugold Athletics, Blugold Recreation, as well as we partnered with the Lions Club here on Lake Wissota,” Schumacher said. “So we've grown the event with that partnership, which is in spirit of UW-Eau Claire does."

The contest will offer prizes for some anglers who catch fish, including a new truck from Eau Claire Ford.

"Love being a part of the community. I know that our owner lives locally. I live locally. Just giving back to the community and also supporting Blugold Athletics. It's just a cool event," Benjamin Lindberg, with Eau Claire Ford, said to WEAU 13 News on Friday.

The event has grown each year, but there's been one overriding stat hanging over tomorrow's contest. In the previous years of the contest, no one has yet hit for the brand new truck.

Schumacher said someone did once catch a tagged fish, just out of season. He said if the tagged fish is caught after Saturday’s contest, the person will be awarded a $250 gift card for Scheel’s.

Last year, more than 650 fish were caught – but just, not that fish. Schumacher is hoping for 1,500 people to sign up – and all, with the hope of catching the big one.

"I want them to catch that fish just a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing everybody tomorrow," Lindberg said.

The event kicks off on Lake Wissota at 7 a.m. Saturday and runs until 2 p.m. Prizes will be awarded starting at 3 p.m. WEAU is once again a sponsor for the Jig's Up Blugold ice fishing contest.

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