Sounds good doesn’t it? Actually Let’s Go Fishing is more than just a proclamation for a fun afternoon. It’s a new organization in the Rhinelander area and despite the cold and lingering snow, promoters are gearing up for the 2014 season.
“We had some outings last year but we got a late start,” said Chrissy Peterson, president of Let’s Go Fishing. “However, we did get 15 outings in and took about 100 people out on the water. This year we are more organized so hopefully we will be out on the water a lot sooner.”
Let’s Go Fishing is an organization that actually originated in Minnesota. There are more than 30 chapters in that state. The Rhinelander area Let’s Go Fishing chapter was started last year and is the first one of its kind in Wisconsin.
The goal of Let’s Go Fishing is to get seniors, disabled individuals and veterans out on the open water to do a little fishing and sightseeing. Of course that requires a boat and that was made possible by a generous donation from a family that made Holiday Acres in Rhinelander their vacation spot for many years.
The vessel is a 34-foot long pontoon boat decked out to accommodate people with disabilities and other restrictions. There are cushy seats and plenty of room to maneuver around. Life jackets have been provided by agreement from Cabella’s and St. Croix donated the fishing equipment including all the rods. In addition, bait is provided for all the guests and the outings are free.
Last year the group launched the boat from the boat landing on Boom Lake.
“This was not only very time consuming but also cumbersome because the boat is so long,” said Peterson. “It’s not always easy to take a boat that big in and out of the water every time you want to go out.”
This year a Boom Lake resident has generously donated some land for the boat to be docked. However, a pier needs to be constructed for access and to anchor the boat when it is not in use.
To start the angling season off this year Let’s Go Fishing organizers could use some help.
“We need to raise some money to get the dock put in,” said Peterson. “It also cost $14,000 a year to run the boat so donations are so welcome.”
In addition, the organization is also looking for volunteers.
“Specifically we need a promotion coordinator and a fundraiser chairman,” said Peterson. “We could also use volunteers who are willing to be hands on with running the boat whether that means helping people on and off or baiting hooks.”
This year, Peterson is also hoping to expand the clientele who use the boat to include children and hospice patients.
“Last year we had a guy out on the boat and he told us he had never been on a pontoon boat before,” said Peterson. “The look on his face was just priceless. That’s what our goal is—to open the door for more people like him to enjoy what Let’s Go Fishing has to offer.”
For more information about Let’s Go Fishing, call Peterson at 715-365-7464.