Wisconsin Ice Anglers Fist Fight Over A Fishing Spot

TOWN OF BRADLEY, WI (WSAU) — Sheriff’s Officers in Lincoln County found themselves breaking up a fight between two groups over ice fishing territory on a lake in the Town of Bradley last week.

Deputies were called out twice to Deer Lake after a group of fishermen complained about harassment that eventually turned into a physical altercation. Officers eventually cited two Tomahawk men and one man from Waukesha County in the incident.

Names of those involved were not released. The incident is still being investigated by the Wisconsin DNR and Recreation Deputy.


I wasn’t shocked when I saw this headline. While extremely fun and rewarding, ice fishing is known to test an angler’s limits. Compared to conventional fishing, nearly everything in ice fishing is more challenging. Traveling to your spot, accessing fish, coaxing them to bite, and staying warm are all things that become exponentially harder on a frozen lake.

Knowing this, and then thinking about the long winter we’ve had, it’s easy to understand why people are getting a little cranky on the ice. Unlike early or late in the season, when fish can be more predictable often with larger appetites’, ice fishing in February can be notoriously challenging.

My theory is that the members of these two fishing parties had a few drinks while experiencing a tough day of fishing. To salvage their day and pride, one of the groups, decided to pack up and try a new spot. This location change triggered another nearby fishing party which eventually resulted in words being exchanged.

**Remarks that might have set off the Wisconsin anglers**
‘’It’s a pretty big lake, you had to drill holes right there?’’
‘’Aaron Rodgers has a noodle arm.’’
‘’I actually prefer soy milk and cheese from California, way more flavor’’
‘’I think Minnesota has more lakes, for sure bigger walleye’’

Things went from a verbal altercation to a goal-line play at Lambeau Field. Instead of green and gold, uniforms were hunters orange, Carhartt tan, and RealTree camouflage.

Maybe a few punches landed or someone shot a successful double leg takedown, but after about 45 seconds to a minute, I’d imagine most were breathing heavily in their bibs, and things fizzled back to a shouting match.

Someone called the cops, and unfortunately, a few guys who woke up with the hopes to tussle with panfish or walleye were cited for grappling with other grown men on the ice.

I hope everyone turned out ok and that next time a situation like this occurs the two groups can use words rather than their fists to resolve the issue. I also hope you enjoyed my imaginary play-by-play from this Wisconsin ice fishing squabble. Fish hard and be cool to other anglers.

“There is only one happiness in this life, to fish and to be fishing.”Karl VonDibble

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