Fishing Club

Next Fishing Club meeting is on June 28 at 2:00 p.m.


A BIG thank you to our fishing club for building fish cribs on Gibbs Lake







Left to right: Bob Fuller, Annelle Reese, Al Hutchinson and Mike Dernovsek

Achievement of Leadership 2022

This fishing club award is given annually by the fishing club for those that exemplify the leadership at our current events both for service and our fundraisers. Many have participated in every event we have had. Each awardee was presented with a custom rod and reel and a plaque that has pictures of some of the events they attended and worked.

The fishing club thanks them for their continued support!




Parker High School Class Fishing Outing at Traxler Park Lagoon with
The Gathering Place Fishing Club

Pictures from the Fishing Outing at Traxler Park Lagoon in Janesville with 33 senior class students from Janesville’s Parker High School assisted by The Gathering Place Fishing Club. Most students I spoke with said this was the first time that they had ever fished. For others who may have fished before, it was the their first ever fish caught.  See the smiles on those faces. A wet rainy day for all, but very self-satisfying, certainly for the fishing club members who helped out.

We all know the importance that Club President Al places on youth and fishing. Thanks Al for your efforts to help us support this youth outing, as it was a good day in the name of fishing.




It was mostly an east wind on Clear Lake, with green color to the water so it appeared it was going to be tough fishing.

Despite the conditions, our boat of 3 guys had 36 bluegills in the live well after 3 hours of fishing. Average size today was smaller to medium. Worms and gulp slowly pulled along the bottom with a ¼ ounce drop shot rig seemed to be most of the action. Plenty of small gills turned back but enough action to make it a fun morning. Good interaction between the boats and fishermen. Most of us fishing the east end of the lake in 8’ to 12’ of water outside of the weed line.





The Gathering Place Fishing Club was on the Mississippi River this past Tuesday – Thursday with 16 of our fishermen in 8 boats. We stayed at the Water’s Edge. If you speak to any of those who went I think you will heard good reports about the trip. These and the rest of photos to come, will tell some of the story. At times fishing was slower given the new cold front that moved in, but some very nice sized bluegills and perch were caught. Plus we enjoyed two very good group meals on the waterfront.





Today we had a capacity crowd of fishermen at Gibbs Lake. Capacity you say. Yes our crew filled the Gibbs Lake Parking Lot. I estimate we had at least 20 fishermen on the water in 9 or 10 boats. From everyone I talked to we all caught plenty of fish. Several boats reported getting their limit. I would estimate that well over 300 nice pan fish, mostly bluegills were caught and cleaned. I saw several nice coolers of fish. You fishermen today really got after them. Many throwback, but look at the piles of fish yourself and judge the success of the outing. All pitched in and cleaned fish on the Club’s portable fish cleaning tables and then after a battering and frying, we all sat lakeside on park picnic tables under shade trees and ate our fill of fresh caught bluegill fillets. The weather and morning was great.

Finally, take notice of the last photo of the young 4 year old boy, Camden eating a piece of watermelon.

While the club was cleaning and cooking fish this young boy was fishing on the shore of Gibbs Lake. His dad had him out for his very first time ever fishing. It was a ball watching this father / son combination casting out is little snoopy pole and watching the bobber go down. When he came over to our group and proudly told us that he had caught his first fish ever, he had all of our hearts. Camden was rewarded by the fishing club with fried fish and that big hunk of watermelon that he devoured.

Great way to end our outing.

Don’t miss out as there is another fishing outing next Monday afternoon August 9th on Lake Monona. Contact Dave Fisher at the Gathering Place to sign up and join us for that outing.




Fishing Club News

The Gathering Place Fishing Club honored former member, Jim Polarski, by continuing his tradition of frying a locally caught fish meal for the Janesville Men's Homeless Shelter. Between 15 and 20 fisherman showed up to prepare and serve a great fish fry with all the fixings plus wonderful desserts. They cooked approximately 300 filets and served 40 meals, with plenty of leftovers. Great job, Fishing Club Crew!

The photos will tell much of the story. Just know that those involved tonight received humble appreciation from those men who have so little and are struggling. As a fishing club I believe we got far more back then we gave.

Jim himself might even have something to say something about what we did for those guys tonight, in his not so elegant Polish speak like:

“Now – Just listen!  I’ll tell you what - All you Yahoos DONE GOOD – If you know what I mean” (now - we do know Jim)





Not The Retiring Type

Fishing Club Makes "Our Wisconsin Magazine"

The February/March issue of Our Wisconsin Magazine features our very own Gathering Place Fishing Club. The article doesn't just talk about fishing, it describes the work this club is doing to improve lake life on three county lakes. By building fish cribs, the team of fishermen are making sure that everyone can enjoy fishing in the future. We are very proud of the work and comradery of The Gathering Place Fishing Club.




May & June 2020 
Lake Koshkonong


Fishing Tip

Whether you are planting the garden, a flower bed, or just cleaning up some debris, now is a great time to collect some fishing bait. With the recent rains, there are plenty of worms and crawlers hiding, particularly in shaded moist areas. Dig into the area leaf piles, roadside ditches and heavy thatch. Once you have the bait, your reward is to make some time and go fish that bank, shoreline, or water that is calling you.



Fishing with the granddaughters

I had a good fishing outing yesterday afternoon with my son Douglas and 2 of his daughters, Emily 8 and Piper 4.  In about an hour they caught 15 fish and some of the gills were huge!  From shore about 15’ out, with a bobber, 18” and red worms.  Water temp 80 degrees.  The girls had a blast!  They are all clean and going in the deep fryer for a family supper today.  The little one is amazed how I can turn fish into chicken!  Hope you guys have a good holiday!  Sincerely, Walt



Rice Lake-Whitewater

Yesterday I was out on Rice Lake south of Whitewater and got about 10 bass between 2 of us even had a bluegill hit our bass rig.



Mud Lake

Kayak fished with Tom on Mud Lake today.  I was on the water from 10-2.   I took the picture of the frog because it reminded me of JP because I thought it talked to me and said I apologize!  This “condition" might have been caused from being on the water in the heat for 4 hours!    I also caught some huge bullheads but they decided they did not want to be in the picture so I left them at their Mud Lake home.   Walt



Saturday on Monona Bay

Updates on Gibbs Lake

Fished Clear Lake and had it to myself today from 10:30 – 2:30 on October 25. Just 3 gills. Water temp today 53 degrees.

Sharing photos of high water conditions. Note water is even higher on the road behind Peggy’s. For the first time I marked 26.5’ depth in far east end of lake. Previous deepest I recall was around 24’ depth. Where it was once 10’ depth along shore line weed lines, I’d say it is now 17’ deep. Most all docks and boat hoists removed from lake. Sandbags out along many of the trailers and lakeside homes.

Will make for an interesting ice fishing season ahead...  Tom

Perch on Gibbs Lake

Beat the heat and out early this morning. Was surprised at the perch bite. Did not keep them at first. When they kept coming, I said hey, I could keep some perch for the Fishing Club fish fry. Brought over 60 fish in the boat in 4 hours. Plenty of action. Shallow in 4’ – 7’ depth among the weeds. Gulp and piece of any live bait on a bare hook. Also caught several perch on a small white twister tail reeled in without bait. Some photos. Notice the guy propelling his boat with some long pieces of wood attached to the boat. Are those called oars? Notice the new EZ dock.  Tom


Here is TGP Fishing Club member Walt Kotecki’s grand kids. They had fun fishing Rice Lake.


Chuck Hanauska and his bass


Clear Lake Fishing in June


Gibbs Lake New Boat Launch

On June 5 a new dock and kayak launch were installed at Gibbs Lake. Attaching a couple of pictures. Good fishing, Bob

To use the launch:

Place the kayak in the chute, bow towards the lake
Load your gear into kayak
Sit in the kayak
Place your paddle in the notches on the sides of the chute and pull yourself forward

Reverse procedure to get out.


Lake Michigan Charter

Fishing in May

Lake Ripley, Cambridge on Thursday, April 25

Good fishing with you Walt. Beautiful day on the water. We caught enough to make the day worthwhile. That was a dandy 9” bluegill you landed. Always fun. Thanks. Tom



Ice Fishing 2018/19

Ice Fishing Equipment Available!
TGP's Fishing Club is offering ice fishing equipment available for use. Contact Dave at 608-868-3500 to reserve the equipment. Items available are two man shelter, propane powered ice auger, propane heater and a Vexilar 18 fish finder. Items are available to TGP members only. For information about TGPs Fishing Club or becoming a TGP member, call 608-868-3500.

The Gathering Place Fishing Club fish crib building March 19, 2019

This overall Fish Crib Fish Habitat project approval was through Dan Oele, Fisheries Biologist for Dane, Green, and Rock Counties.  work phone  (608) 275-3225. Work Mailing Address: 3911 Fish Hatchery Road Fitchburg, WI.  53711-5367.

Meanwhile we worked with Rock County Conservation Warden Kyle Johnson 2514 Morse Street Janesville, WI 53545  (608) 295-6171 as far as local oversight. Kyle met with us on site and is seen in one of Judy’s photographs talking to our group.

Here is some information on fish cribs and their purpose:

Today (3-19-2019) The Gathering Place Fishing Club (Gathering Place Senior Center) in Milton, completed the construction of two fish cribs on the ice of Clear Lake. We learned a great deal and hope to build more next winter. The Cribs were located roughly 200’ north (to the left) of the Clear Lake Boat Launch.   Clear Lake Improvement Association was made aware of and approved of our fish crib construction efforts. The cribs are 240 feet off shore placed over 16’ of water, to account for the current 8’ above normal lake level. Multiple stems roadside trees were harvested for the project with coordination of the County Forester.  Cribs were weighted with concrete blocks.  Warden Johnson was in attendance and talked with the fishing club about our efforts and their value to the lake and it’s fisheries. We had 16 participants, not all in the photos.

Fish cribs usually shared a single design. They consisted of big logs lashed together to make a cube like a miniature log cabin without a roof. The interior was stuffed with brush or tree branches and they were weighed down with concrete, cinder blocks, or heavy rocks. Since these structures can be very large, heavy, and almost impossible to move, they’re built in the wintertime in northern states and left on the ice, where they sink into place in the spring when the ice starts to melt. The cribs are usually square. They are typically four or five feet high and four to eight feet long.

Fish habitat A fish habitat structure is a device that is that is placed on the bed of public waters for the purpose of improving fish habitat. These devices include fish cribs.

Fish need to have a safe, relaxing place to go, whether it is to get away from predators or spawn peacefully. A good pond fish habitat in shallower waters will provide bait fish with hiding places as well as areas for algae, plankton, and other food sources to grow. Developing a pond fish habitat in deeper water nearby will provide hiding and hunting locations for your larger fish. Additionally, providing a habitat for your fish will also give you great places to throw your hook out and catch a few. There are a variety of different ways to develop a pond fish habitat for your fishy friends, here are a few artificial and natural underwater structures you can use.

Fish habitats are the easiest and cleanest way to provide fish a safe home and are often more productive than natural habitats.







TGP member Tom Presny’s report on Clear Lake...3/7/2019



The Gathering Place men and high school students making fishing rods at Milton High School.  3/2/2019




Picture of fish caught through the ice on Clear Lake
from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on December 12th by Tom Presny.





Afternoon on Clear Lake
Guys:  I snuck out of the house this afternoon and went kayak fishing to Clear lake.  I was on the water from 1:30-4:30. I had a good outing.  Caught 4 nice crappies plus had another in my kayak by my feet but he jumped out before I could grab him.  Used 1” green/yellow gulp minnows alone and with wax worms.  I was about 30 yards out.  Towards the end of the day I went a little closer to shore and cast to the shore and reeled in real slow and got some good hits including the 10” crappie.  A little windy, some clouds but it’s hard to beat a day out on the water!  Walt


Hello Fishermen, as suggested by Dave’s comment above, sharing some fish photos from this afternoon on Clear Lake. With Madison area launches closed, want to remind you that we have very adequate fishing right in our back yard.

Walt and Tom fished in the rain this afternoon for a couple hours and did well. Fish have moved to within 20’ – 30’ from shore in 10’ of water, fishing very close to the bottom. Good bite on most any live bait. Not difficult at all to get a mess for a meal. 10 bluegills in this batch were 8 inches or better. Nice fillets.  Lake is very high but you can get your boats  out, but no access to the launch dock. Bring boots. Get out and have a bunch of fun before its time to winterize and store those boats.




Kayak fishing on Clear Lake
Fellow fisherman:  I had a chance to go solo kayak fishing to Clear Lake this past Wednesday.  Fished from 11-4 pm.  Weather was beautiful.  Caught and released more, I was rather picky.  Have a nice batch of fillets in the freezer.  They were not deep.  I had my best luck about 25’ or so from shore in about 10’ of water.  Used mitty mites, pink gulp wax worm, and gulp green/white “fish”  all tipped with reg wax worm.  My best rod is the ice fishing 28” rod that I got last winter.  Walt



Don't give up on Clear Lake
Despite the ever increasing flooding of Clear Lake, the bluegills are still cooperating. No crappies. With a few rain showers and a follow-up rainbow I was entertained on Clear Lake from 4-6 PM with a rather consistent bite in 11’ – 14’ depths along the north shore. Easily released 40 gills at 7 to 8.5 inch in two hours. Most on gulp and pink sweetcorn. Tom



Walt in his kayak fishing in the rain.


Fishing Club outing July 25, 2018 on Lake Monona


Pictures of Al Hutchison, fishing club member, in Alaska.


Fishing on Clear Lake

Enjoyable morning guys. Thanks for the good conversation and fun. 55 fish, several crappies, for a morning during the heat of this time of the year is doing very well.


State friend of TGP Fishing Club from Arkansas.  These two Muskies were caught this past June by Rick Shemeski from Mountain Home when he was muskie fishing for a week this past June near Rhinelander.  What a Striper and Muskie man!


Went fishing to Clear Lake today from 4-7 pm.  Fished in the middle of the lake tight line using glup with spikes and a red lure with wax worms. The fish were not on the bottom.  I would say a third of the way up from the bottom. At the end of the day I hooked a huge crappie.  As I was pulling it up towards the front of the kayak it jumped out of the water I would say 3 feet and pulled and broke away, hook and all.  Fishing really heated up around 6 pm and sometimes I had bites on both poles.  Perfect weather, I’m living the dream!  Walt


THE TGP Fishing Club hosted a pan fishing seminar in May. Tom Presny and Jim Polarski shared their techniques on how to catch bluegills and crappies.  Also, discussed tackle, baits and reading lake maps.







For those that participated at Clear Lake you know that we had a successful ice fishing outing between our Gathering Place Fishing Club and the Milton H.S. Fishing Club. Some 14 students plus teachers and mentors, and we must have had at least a dozen from our fishing Club. Fished in some challenging temps and wind but turned out just fine. Had bonfire on the ice and cooked panfish, some 250 panfish fillets for the large gathering on shore. Coverage on the ice was provided by reporters from both Milton Courier and the Janesville Gazette, so look for some good exposure to our fishing club.  Nice bonfire on the ice to keep everyone warm. Many prizes awarded to the kids.

The Fishing Club needs your help!
The Gathering Place Fishing Club is seeking donations from you.  If you have extra fishing equipment that isn't being used anymore, please think about donating to the TGP Fishing Club.  Donations would help members who may not have equipment.

We would take any kind of fishing gear.  Also, ice fishing gear as well.

Thank you so much!



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