Announcing 2023 WSA Fundraiser

Wisconsin Smallmouth Alliance

Meets 1st Wed. Sept-April alternating with Badger FF. 5:30 dinner, program 6:30 Thirsty Goat, Fish Hatchery Rd., Fitchburg, Wis.

WSA Club Information

Mike Simon, 608-334-4448

President: Jerry Pasdo

Send stories, photos to:
Editor: John Cantwell

Other Local Fishing Clubs

Check club websites for current schedules

Southern Wisc. TU
Check Website for meetings.

Badger Flyfishers
See website for program info.

Yahara Fishing Club
Meets 2nd Wednesday of month 7 pm, Bowl A Vard,
2121 E. Spring Dr., Madison

Capital City Muskies
Meets 2nd Monday of month, 7 pm. Bowl A Vard, 2121 E. Spring Dr., Madison

Announcing Our 15th Annual Fundraising Auction

Mark April 5th on your calendar. It’s the date of our Fifteenth Annual Fundraiser at the Thirsty Goat, 3404 Cahill Main, in Fitchburg. We will be picking up where we left off when our 2020 event was cancelled. Doors will open at 5:00 to allow time for socializing, dining, viewing the auction items, and bidding on the Silent Auction items. Winners of the Silent Auction will be announced promptly at 6:45, followed by an abbreviated live auction. As always, this event is open to the public with no admission fee.

The on-line guided trips fundraiser concluded on Feb.21st. Congratulations to all successful bidders. Check out the links on our website to these generous guides, and please consider booking a trip with them for the upcoming fishing season.

We will have rods, reels, bags, packs, flies, lures, and assorted gear for both the spin and fly angler. With names like St. Croix, Umpqua, Fishpond, Shimano, Scientific Anglers, Echo, RTIC, Bass Pro, Onyx, Stowmaster, and Temple Fork Outfitters, to name a few, we are able to cater to a broad spectrum of discriminating anglers. We’ll also have an assortment of flies made by our talented members.

To appeal to an even wider range of attendees, we will have handcrafted items in several mediums, restaurant and gift certificates, Fiskars Gardening tools, optics by Vortex, certificates for rounds of trap, skeet, and sporting clays, and goodies to satisfy your sweet tooth. Want to see more? Go to our website to keep up with the growing list. Check it regularly.

I’m sure you are aware that we have this one event to fund the coming year’s projects. Participation at any level is helpful. The single biggest thing our members can do is to attend the event and bring a friend or two. A roomful of people to enjoy the camaraderie and bid on the variety of items adds to the enjoyment of the evening. If you have any items you’d like to contribute, please contact me or any of the board members listed on our web site.

As always, we remind everyone that all of this is made possible by our very generous donors in support of our club and its cause. These include generous guides who donate trips, business partners who donate fantastic merchandise, and our numerous members who contribute a variety of items. Please show your appreciation by patronizing them.

Payment can be made by cash, check, or credit card; there is an ATM available on site. By starting earlier, our goal is to have things wrapped up by 8:00 PM so everyone has time to check-out and be home at a decent time. Due to the change in venue we request that there be NO early checkouts once the auction begins. Final details will be sent out in a late March reminder email and updates on our website. Hope to see you there!

Mike Simon, Chairman

Where’s the money going?

With our fifteenth annual fundraiser coming in April, we want to keep members and donors informed of how the money is appropriated. To date, $70,000 has been raised to fund numerous projects. Since our last fundraiser, we have donated to the following:

  • Kids on Ice and Kids Summer Fishing Day in Dane Co.
  • Youth Conservation Days in Sauk Co.
  • Youth in the Outdoors in NW Wisconsin
  • Dane Co. Parks, Jenni & Kyle Fishing Day Event
  • FLOW- Kids Don’t Float @ Lower WI River landings
  • (Our donations impacted over 3,000 kids in various programs)
  • Nesting cover brochures continue to be distributed around the state, as well as placement of our “Free the Fighter” sign.
  • The River Alliance of Wisconsin, Friends of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway, and the Upper Sugar River Watershed Assoc., & Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition, defenders of our waterways.
  • Funded tagging by the DNR on the Couderay River to study stream and origin of movement of smallmouth bass, and partnered with other organizations to provide access for anglers to the Couderay, especially those with disabilities.
  • Helping a group of smallmouth enthusiasts from Iowa who are forming a smallmouth group.
  • Contributing to Wisconsin Green Fire-a promoter of science-based management for our natural resources.


  • (4) reserved Terrace seats: regular season Madison Mallards Game, plus 4 hats (min. $50)
  • (1) $100 Tight Lines Fly Fishing Co. gift card
  • 9ft. 2 piece 5wt Sage RPL Fly Rod (made by Andy Davidson) w/ SA Reel
  • (4) $50 The Fly Fisher Fly Shop gift cards
  • Diawa BG 2500 Spinning Reel – D&S Sports
  • Costa Del Mar Fathom Sunglasses (tortoise w/ green 580 lens) – The Fly Fisher Fly Shop
  • TFO Bug Launcher Series Fly Rod: 7ft. 4-5 wt, 2 pc


  • (2) Bob Harrison Bluegill Assortmen
  • (2) Bob Harrison Bass Assortment
  • John Beth – 13 Clousers
  • Andy Davidson – 24 Midges
  • Scot Stewart – 4 grey leeches & 4 Milwaukee leeches
  • Tom Mulford – 9 Sparkle Dunns

2023 Guides Fundraiser is Another Success

Elsewhere in this newsletter is information about the regular Auction/Fundraiser for this year. WSA just completed an online auction fundraiser as part of the efforts of our 501c3 organization. The guides listed below have donated trips this year and some for nearly 20 years, in efforts to provide additional funds for WSA and its mission as well as for supporting other similar minded organizations. Please patronize these guides and look at their websites to see what trip can fit into your schedule. Their trips are filling fast.

2023 Fundraiser Contributing Guides

Great Northern Fly Fishing – Abe Downs, 715-572-3225,

Hayward Fly Fishing Company–Stu Neville and team, 715-634-8149,,

Black Earth Angling–Kyle Zempel, 715-571-0807,

Wisconsin Fly Fishing Company – Hunter Dorn, 608-577-1884,

Smallmouth Guide–Mike Norris, 630-842-8199,,

Madison Angling–Noah Humfield, 608-210-9350,

Milwaukee River Fly Fishing, 608-774-2602,

Wildwood Float Trips – Kip Vieth, 612-801-2710,,

Proper Fish Handling Initiative

WSA continues to make progress in increasing awareness among outdoor public relations professionals, DNR staff, tackle manufacturers and others with a stake in increasing the survival rate of smallmouth bass and game fish. Gene Kroupa reports that contacts with a major communication firm which represents a wide range of outdoors clients have led to a recognition of the importance of showing proper catch and release techniques. This organization has requested copies of research reports they can use to back up claims of higher survivability of fish that are properly handled. WSA will continue to post such information on its website so that you have it, too. One nonscientific article that does a good job addressing this topic is: “7 Wrong Ways to Handle a Fish.” You can find the piece at Looks like more folks are getting on board the Proper C&R bandwagon.


We have 2 sizes available – 5 x 6.75 in. and 10 x 7.75 in. They are made of high quality vinyl. The price, including shipping, is $7 and $10, respectively. You can place your order in to Rich Connor at or 608-422-9599. Once he receives your check he will mail the decal. There is no limit on the quantity ordered.

Bird Impact on Fish

DNR Fish Biologist Max Wolter discusses bird predation on fish.

Researching wild animals comes with lots of challenges, many of which are unanticipated when planning studies. For example, take a series of studies on endangered suckers out west.

Researchers were interested in how often predators, namely pelicans, were eating two rare sucker species. Since many of the suckers had tags, researchers tried to get an idea of how many suckers the pelicans were eating by scanning for tags at the pelican colony. That’s right, the researchers went to where all the pelicans defecated and scanned around for the tags that were once in the suckers. Observations of the pelicans’ behavior, however, led researchers to understand that their estimate of predation on suckers using this method was not fully accurate. Some pelicans were using the restroom elsewhere, which could mean they were dropping more tags in other places and, therefore, not found.

Needing to adapt, the researchers designed a new study. In this case, they initially fed the pelicans more than 400 tagged, non-endangered suckers. After a while, they went to the nesting colonies to scan for these specific tags. From this effort, researchers were able to estimate that only 47% of the tags from suckers eaten by pelicans were winding up at their spawning colonies, with the other 53% deposited elsewhere.

This might seem like a lot of work to learn about the bathroom habits of birds, but with this information the researchers were able to correct their past estimates of bird predation on these rare fishes.

This is a great example of how research has to adapt, and how sometimes fisheries work is as odd and unpredictable as trying to figure out where birds do their business.

This article was reprinted from a recent edition of Wisconsin Outdoor News.

As an additional note, Jerry Pasdo has received comments from anglers and guides in Door County that the invasive cormorants were seen attacking smallmouth bass when in the shallows. This often occurred during the spawn while SMB were guarding their nests. The birds easily dive 5-25 feet to catch their prey. Surviving SMB have been caught showing stab wounds from the birds