185 Air Refueling Wing, Sioux City, Iowa --
This June, many will gather to compete against one another in a match that requires skill, cunning, patience, and wit. Many will strive to achieve it but only one will prevail and be known as “Mr. or Ms. Walleye 2021”.
“It’s a blue coat like at the Masters (Golf Tournament) and has every winners’ name embroidered on it,” said Chief Master Sgt. Mike Schreck (Ret.) as he described the top prize for the 185th ARW Fishing Frenzy to be held Saturday June 26 in Pickstown, S.D. on Lake Francis Chase.
The frenzy is organized as a way for military members, retirees, and their families to come together for some outdoor fun.
“It’s all about the family, bringing them together to fish, sit around a campfire, and get to know them,” explained Schreck.
This year’s event is being organized by Wade Kuehl, wing director for psychological health at the 185th.
“We see it as part of resiliency efforts,” said Kuehl who became interested in the event after another member saw him sporting his fishing jacket. “He asked if I was a fisherman and then told me about how they used to hold the Fishing Frenzy every June.”
The Frenzy had started out as group of members getting together to enjoy a weekend of fishing in the late 90’s and then grew into a competition.
“It started as a small group fishing, about 2 or 3 boats, and then grew to 30 to 35 boats,” reminisced Schreck.
Due to deployments and a high operational tempo, the event stopped for a couple of years until Kuehl revived it last year.
To warm up for this year’s Frenzy, Kuehl also organized the Spring Fling fishing event.
“We had 35 anglers at the Spring Fling,” said Kuehl. “After the weigh in, we had a fish fry and made homemade beer battered onion rings which were very popular.”
The winner of the Spring Fling was Staff Sgt. Ben McCord with a 7.36 pound walleye.
To participate in the Fishing Frenzy this June, contact Wade Kuehl via email, email@example.com. There is $15 per person fee that helps pay for fish fry supplies and prizes. At least one military member must be on each team.