Community Spotlight: Women Anglers Of Minnesota Go Ice Fishing
It’s seven below, but that’s the perfect weather to go ice fishing. Thirty-eight women from the Women Anglers of Minnesota (WAM) took part in the inaugural winter ice fishing trip over the weekend.
“We are actually celebrating our 40th year this year,” said Women of Anglers Minnesota President Kristen Merwin. “The club was started in 1977 by a group pf women that were housewives that really the chance to get out and go fishing but leaving the guys at home.”
The club now has about 150 women who love the sport of angling and they also have tournaments and fundraisers. The money raised goes to purchase rods and reels to help fund children’s clinics. With everything they do there’s still some misconceptions.
“Overall I think women have a stereotype that we’re not tough enough to do it, I think that you’ve experience the cold,” said Merwin. “We came out his morning and it was minus seven degrees. Every woman was out here and they were fishing and never once did I hear I’m cold I want to go in.”
Whether you’ve never fished before or have years of experience it didn’t matter. This trip was about tradition for some as a mother and daughter participated in the activities.
“They’ve been to all the meetings when they were babies I took them to club when they were in car seats and they’d sit at the meetings in car seats so they’ve been with Women Anglers actually almost as long as I have,” said WAM member Mary Walsh.
“My two sisters also fish with us, so this weekend it’s just us, mom and I,” said Emily Schnick, WAM member and Walsh’s daughter. “But in the summer it’s all four of us and we’ve met a lot of friends and have a lot of fun.”
The itinerary for the weekend included educational courses and professionals coming in to show the women different techniques. This event wouldn’t be possible without Sponsors who provided the shacks, clothing and lodging.
“We really wanted to bring something fresh to this lake and bringing the women here just seemed like a good fit for all of us,” said Erin Charleton, WAM member and owner of Geiger’s Trails End Resort.
The heated shacks on Bowstring Lake had holes in them for the women to sit down comfortably and bait their fish. Crappie and Northern were just two of they types of fish that were caught.
These Vexilar machines are used to locate the fish. Merwin says this is one thing she can’t be without while ice fishing. Biting the head of a fish is meant for good luck and that’s exactly what Ded did.
For one woman, she caught her first fish and was pretty excited about it.
This environment isn’t about competition or who caught the biggest fish it’s about the camaraderie.