Goodman Community Center | A look back through the early archives…

A look back through the early archives about east siders going fishing

With Free Fishing weekend scheduled for June 1-2, here’s a couple of vintage stories about fishing trips.

May 29, 2024 |
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East side fishing trips


In the “old days” fishing trips were events to write home about — or at least publish in East Side News. Heading to Fish Trap Lake in Vilas County, northeast of Boulder Junction would have been quite a road trip using an Essex in 1927. U.S. 51 would only be about a year old (the U.S. Highway System debuted in 1926) and much of it was not paved. The final segment was finally surfaced in 1946.

Things to note: An Essex was a four-door car, but certainly not like an SUV of today. It didn't even have breaks on all four wheels until 1928. The fishing party also had to drop Art VanVelser off in Bradley, which is near Tomahawk.

The 1937 trip is notable for the species the anglers are going after and the statewide limits. Rock bass are generally considered an undesirable eating fish a roach is similar to a chub and is in the same family as carp.

Curious what a calico bass and strawberry bass are? They are both terms for crappies. The silver bass is another name for a white bass.

Spending time on the open water, whether locally or part of a journey, and sharing stories about it has long been important to residents on the east side. Just notice how many use Madison's lakes and waterways and venture beyond the city to water destinations, then share posts on social media or have a story about the “one that got away.”

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