Around town with Judy Martini: Take a Vet Fishing Day

At least the rain stopped long enough for a beautiful day for some of our local veterans. Sunday, May 15 was the second annual Take a Vet Fishing Day which was held on the Chain O'Lakes at Thirsty Turtle Marina. The event was held to raise awareness for post-traumatic stress disorder and other causes to support veterans. Take a Vet Fishing is a registered non-profit and volunteer organization that holds fishing events throughout the United States to honor our veterans.

Over 150 veterans from throughout the state were taken fishing on the beautiful Chain O'Lakes. There were 85 volunteers and professional fishermen who gave veterans guided fishing tours from their boats. The largest fish caught was a 35 inch muskie caught on Pistakee Lake by veteran Bill Christiansen with the assistance of guide Bernie Loonsfoot. Most pan fish were hanging out at the bottom because of the cooler weather, the guide’s told us.

After the fishing derby, a delicious donated lunch was served to the veterans and their family members. A flag ceremony presented by the Boy Scouts followed, there were several Korean War and World War II veterans recognized. There was then a touching honor ceremony, where every veteran received a gift bag and a fishing pole donated by Cabela’s. The ceremonies were capped off by a raffle to send one lucky veteran on a fishing trip to Canada. There were also children’s events taking place throughout the day and an interesting learning session for children where every child at the event left with a new fishing pole and the knowledge to identify the different types of fish.

The next veteran fishing event will be held in Waubesa, Wisconsin on June 12. Take a Vet Fishing is also excited about adding two additional states to their schedule for the coming year. Next year, when they hold their next Chain O’Lakes Take a Vet Fishing Day, make sure you volunteer or let local veterans know. It was a wonderful tribute to our veterans. If you would like to make a donation to Take a Vet Fishing, please contact them at