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7th largest sturgeon speared just outside North Fond du Lac

James Gishkowsky and the 7th largest sturgeon
Posted at 7:28 PM, Feb 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-04 19:14:42-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Van Dyne, a town described as a "blink and you miss it" type of place, is all but that during sturgeon spearing season.

Sitting right on the bay of Lake Winnebago, Wendt’s on the Lake Bar and Grill is a hot spot during this time of year. Owner Ann Wendtcross says this has been a hot spot for spearing for three generations of her family.

“My whole family were spearers, my grandma did it well up into her older years,” says Wendtcross. “And we are right here by the registration and weighing so yeah, this place gets busy.”

Yesterday for the first time she’s been around a monster fish came ashore.

“It was the biggest one he has ever caught, the biggest one, I’ve ever seen, and the best part was watching Jim try to get it up and pull it there.”

Jim. The Man of the Hour, Day, Week and potentially the Season. The 75-year-old man used all his might to get his prized fish up on those hooks. After he did, it was all smiles and compliments from there.

“It started off just a normal day, I was out there, I was the only one on the ice,” said Gishkowsky. “The fish swam past my cameras. I speared him in the spine, and then I pulled him up to see how big and he was heavy so once I saw him I got on the phone and said Shawn, Im gonna need some help.”

Even with two grown men, it was still a struggle, nonetheless, the struggle was all worth it.

“I didn't get much sleep last night,” said Gishkowsky. “Because I was dreaming, this still feels like a dream.”

Gishkowsky’s monster fish is sitting at 7th in the ranks for largest sturgeon caught:

2023 Sturgeon Spearing Top 15 List

Gishkowsky jokes that he was going for fifth but he was happy with seventh.

For the past 24 hours, every time Jim walks through the doors of Wendt’s he is welcomed with a “Congratulations!” from just about everyone in the building.

“It doesn’t matter who got it, we are all excited for each other, that's just how spearers are.”