SPICER — Let’s Go Fishing volunteer Glen Lotthammer piloted our pontoon boat within casting distance of a dock in the belief that a fish or two might be lurking in its shade.
This was last Monday, and Lotthammer and his volunteer deckhands were joined on Green Lake by seven fourth-grade students from the Willmar Public Schools.
With a few deft casts, student Braylon Burwell managed to drop his slip bobber and leech rig right at the dock’s edge and BAM, down went the bobber.
Burwell soon pulled in a hefty, largemouth bass, gave it a kiss and came home with all of the bragging rights. He caught the biggest, and only, fish in our afternoon excursion with Let’s Go Fishing.
But every one of Burwell’s classmates on that pontoon reached shore wearing smiles as big as the one he had flashed when volunteer Dennis Forcier helped net the big bass.
Lotthammer and Forcier were among the many volunteers who hosted fourth-grade students from the Kennedy and Roosevelt Elementary Schools on outings on Green Lake in Spicer to start the 2022 season for the Willmar chapter of Let’s Go Fishing this past week. Four pontoons were kept busy. If all went as planned, some 220 students will have participated in the outings offered Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
It marked the start of the 20th season for the Willmar chapter, the first and founding chapter for the non-profit organization that now includes 17 chapters across the state and into Wisconsin.
“This has become really huge, every year,” said Rick Reimer of Let’s Go Fishing’s tradition of starting its season by hosting elementary students. Reimer serves as the chapter’s president.