VIDEO: Ready Your Spears - Wisconsin's Sturgeon Season Is About to Start

Feb 4, 2014

In 2013, Glen Wiesmueller speared this 110.7-pound sturgeon.
Credit Fond du Lac Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

More than 11,000 people are expected to take to the ice of Wisconsin's Lake Winnebago this week, hoping to spear themselves a mighty prize: a sturgeon.

Saturday marks the start of the 16-day sturgeon season, and conditions are reportedly just about perfect for the event, in which anglers haul in their catch with hand-fashioned spears.

Ahead of the fishing season, a new documentary on the sturgeon fishing tradition will have its world premiere in Fond du Lac on Thursday night.

Wisconsin filmmaker Steve Boettcher is the producer of "The Frozen Chosen," which will also show on public television next Monday. He says the documentary tries to explain the allure of spearfishing.

"This is like Ice Road Truckers meets Deadliest Catch," he says, "and the sportsmen, men and women that go out to partake of this sport, are really unique.  It’s kind of like McGyver on Ice to go get a sturgeon."

The film is described as follows:

A historical image of spearfishing on Lake Winnebago
Credit Fond du Lac Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Each winter a monstrous beast lures men and women to the ice of Lake Winnebago. It is the only place on the planet where this occurs. "The Frozen Chosen" introduces you to the obsessed men and women who are willing to wait days, years, even decades to propel their spears and bring you face-to-face with the prize below.