2016 Big Brothers Big Sisters Outing

All in all, 26 Bigs and Littles were loaded onto 5 separate pontoon boats rented from Good Time Rentals on Pewaukee Lake. The boats were paid for by a generous donation from the Hays Companies.

Our host for the day was Smokey’s Musky Shop and man were they ever nice. It was a very busy day for them, and they allowed us all the space we needed to run this fishing outing. In fact, one of the workers even found a little time to show a youngster how to cast and fish off of the piers. Rumor has it that a bass was hanging around……and was properly exercised.

A very special thank you goes out to all of the volunteers from Big Brothers and Big Sisters who showed up to assist with the event. Another very special thank you goes to all the volunteers from Muskies Inc. Some of these people include, Jennifer Verges (and her ice cream sundae booth donation), Roy and Nancy Hinkforth, Bryan and Sue Blanke, Bob and Daelyn Petzke, Mark Miller, Jeff Spraggon, Greg Sieren, Mike Phelps, Craig Ader, Jo-Anne Kashere and Lynne Dembiec. Apologies to anyone that I may have missed.

I don’t know if the pontoons found more smiles or fish on their outings, but we did hear that most pontoons caught 50 fish or so while on the water. We heard from many of the fishermen that these were the first fish they have even caught, and some of them even got to kiss their first fish.

To wrap up our outing, after lunch, two grand prizes were awarded to two lucky kids those being a razer scooter and a huge (55 inch) kite.

2015 Big Brothers Big Sisters Outing with MCMI

BBBS 5On June 20, 2015, volunteers from the Milwaukee Chapter of Muskies Inc. worked with volunteers from Big Brothers and Big Sisters to take about 20 kids out fishing on Pewaukee Lake.Mother Nature made sure that the weather was excellent BBBS 7and that rain showers headed north of the lake.

The guides from Muskies Inc. got the kids into pontoon boats and went out in search of bluegills and other panfish. And in the end, they found just as many smiles on the faces of the kids as they did fish on the ends of lines.
BBBS 6The Littles and Bigs were treated to a fantastic morning of fishing and a nice lunch afterwards. As a surprise, every Little received a fishing rod which was donated by the Milwaukee Chapter of Muskies Inc. There was also a grand prize raffle in which a youngster won a new bike!
BBBS 4BBBS 3
In the end, I’m not sure who enjoyed the outing more, the Littles, the Bigs, or the volunteers who helped run the event from Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Milwaukee Muskies Inc. fishing club.

2014 Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outing

From Geoff Verges on June 14th:

Milwaukee Muskies Inc and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee co-hosted a youth fishing event on Saturday with the help of both of Smokey’s tackle shops.

20 Littles with well over 20 Bigs showed up to catch some panfish with their captains from Milwaukee Muskies Inc.

Attached are a few pictures of the catch.

Many, many special thanks go out to the men from Muskies Inc who devoted part of their busy weekend to fishing with the kids: Bryan Blanke, Roy Hinkforth, Mark Miller and Greg Sieren. These were the men who made the magic happen for the kids, along with their helpers who tagged along as first mates.

More thanks goes out to each and every volunteer who showed up from Big Brothers and Big Sisters to assist with check in and help provide lunch for the kids.

On the Muskies Inc side, both Jennifer Verges and Nancy Hinkforth helped with facilitating the event and assisting with the lunch afterwards.

Kids ended up fishing from the Smokey’s pontoon boats from about 10:00 to 12:00. And while we heard that the ‘toons caught 40-70 gills apiece (along with some bass), some of the youngsters couldn’t get enough and also fished off of Smokey’s piers to get more bluegills. There were even rumors of a 10 inch gill.

Anyway, it was a blast for everyone involved. Another thank you goes out to Smokey’s Muskie Shop for not only hosting this event, but also for their Veterans Outing that was running at the same time.

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2013 Big Brothers Big Sisters Outing

On a windy and cool evening May 23rd, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee joined the Milwaukee Chapter of Muskies, Inc for another outing based out of Smokey’s Muskie Shop on Pewaukee Lake. Gene Pokora chaired the event with help from his wife Mary and son Michael (grillmaster), Nancy and Roy Hinkforth, Craig Ader, Steve Berg, Nick Gosh, Jim Dembiec, and Mike Phelps.

Stephanie from BBBS coordinated efforts from their side with pontoon rentals from Smokey’s, and the chapter shuttled the pontoons between the bait shop and the muskie shop. The first pontoon left the muskie shop in pursuit of panfish a little after 5:30PM with the last pontoon departing about 6PM. Panfish caught included perch, pumpkinseed, bluegills, and crappie with the best action early. Returning to the muskie shop a bit before 8PM, a warm meal of burgers and chili (and of course other fixings and dessert) hit the spot.

Milwaukee Chapter Youth Outings

May 14 youth outingJoel Michel with his nephew2007 MCMI Outing Collage
Gene Pokora is our current Youth Director. Youth outings that we’ve held include the Brookfield East High School’s Outdoors Club teens, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Spina Bifida group. Our chapter also contributes money towards the
Cops and Kids FoundationBob Petzke with a pair of Brookfield East muskie hunters program, and a few members participate to pilot the pontoon boats and help kids interact with police officers and chase panfish. We also contribute money towards Fishing has no Boundaries which assists people with disabilities to enjoy fishing.

2009 Daniel Boone Conservation League Youth Fishing Recap

Milwaukee Chapter DBCL Youth outing crewTom Arvoy coordinated the event for August 1st, Gordy Merz lined up over half the rod/reel combos, and Smokey’s Bait Shop provided the live bait for the event. Tom knew the temptation of helping the kids would be too great to stay off his healing ankle injury. Therefore, once we had the combos on-site at the DBCL picnic, he turned the event over to Nick Gosh, Rick Wyrwas, Nancy & Roy Hinkforth, Craig & Nicholas Ader, Gene Pokora, & Mike Phelps.

young lad with nice catchThe day started out damp and cool, but by mid afternoon it was clear and bright. Nicholas and Mike went on a scouting mission to find some fish as we attempted to get the lay of the lake (pond). Mike reported several “large” fish attacking his hook-less Suick on the west end. As we followed with hooks and bait, nothing to be had. Those fish already knew something was wrong. It seemed that the hottest action was on the east end of the pond and after the wind switched.

Success keeping the kids interestedFishing was scheduled for 1PM to 2PM and then 3PM to 4PM. The event started slow, with a few kids casting and asking questions. By 1:30PM, most of the kids were catching or seeing fish. Once word got out that fishing was free and the fish were biting, most of the 40 combos were being utilized. Having seven chapter volunteers, we didn’t see the need to stop fishing and ran the event the entire time. The kids were able to keep 1 fish with most supporting CPR. Craig noted some very excited kids which made his day. The Chapter team kept the kids baited, untangled, weed free and removing the hooks from the fish they chose to release. Mike was doing laps around the pond taking photos of the kids with their catch.

Spincast panfish and later on, baitcaster princessThree people were also interested in trying their hand at the mighty baitcaster. Mike worked with them to hone their technique, and before long, they were casting clear across the pond without backlashing.

top catch and release winnersWe’re not sure of total number of fish caught, but the kids sure had fun catching 2″ bullheads, several nice blue gill, perch and some painted turtles. Roy is an excellent hook remover on the turtles!!! Some of the kids caught almost a dozen fish. For each division, first place received a rod/reel combo and second received a lighted Frisbee.