Stankowski is state Master Angler
By Kyra Jagodzinski
City Times Intern
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School senior, Cade Stankowski was recently awarded the “Master Angler” title at the 2021 Wisconsin Ice Fishing State Championship.
Master Angler of the Year is awarded to one of over 700 students in Wisconsin each year.
Master Angler Award is given to the student anglers who catch a qualifying species and document it properly, that meets the minimum length requirements, and is applicable to any angler within the season. It is tracked throughout the course of the ice fishing season, regardless of the standing of the participant’s team in statewide ranking, and is awarded to the student angler with the highest number of qualified fish species.
Cade has also set a statewide organization record by catching 25 different qualifying fish species in a season.
The state ice fishing tournament is a one-day event where the competitors are allowed to be on the water by 6:30 a.m. with lines in the water by 7:00 a.m. on any lake, but due to the pandemic, any “publicly accessible water was fair game,” says Cade. By 3:00 p.m., photos of game fish, like northern pike and bass, should be taken and the competitors should be in line for their panfish to be measured.
Cade’s team, the Wisconsin Ice Fishing team, was runner up in the state tournament this year, and has placed first three times previously, as well as two separate runner up positions in years past.
Scott Stankowski, Cade’s father, is the coach for the Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School ice fishing team. According to Cade, “the only thing his father loves more than fishing is fishing with his kids.”
Cade’s brother has previously won Master Angler, a skill that is taught to the family as soon as they could hold a pole, but nonetheless one that clearly runs in the family.
Cade said that the title meant even more to him because of his brother, and he was proud they are two of the best fishermen in the state.
To aspiring fishermen, Cade advises them to not “be too hard on yourself for not catching (a fish) one day, because everyone has those days… Just remember, you’re out (on the water) to enjoy it, so don’t get too serious.”