Learn 2 Fish Captain Greg Karch Featured on Cover of Badger Sportsman! 

 

If you’re not a monthly subscriber to the Badger Sportsman magazine, you missed our own Captain Greg featured on the front cover of the May/June 2019 edition! (If you can’t tell, we’re VERY excited!)  

Flip to page 30 to read the article dedicated to Greg’s story including how he started Learn 2 Fish With Us, and his ongoing love and commitment to the not-for-profit organization.  

We don’t want to spoil it for you, so check out the original article here!

The Ultimate Boating Essentials Checklist – 10 things to bring on your next fishing trip

 

Fishing rods. Check.

Tackle box. Check.

Fishing net. Check.

Boat keys. Check.

All of the other necessities for successful fishing on the boat? Not check.

While the first four checklist items are a great start, there are many other fishing essentials you should store in your boat before taking to the water. Whether you’re only planning on fishing for a few hours or spending the entire day out on the boat, check out our ultimate boating essentials checklist to prepare for your next big fishing trip. (P.S. Leave a comment below on your must-have boating essentials.)

  1. First Aid Kit

Whether it’s a hook in the ear, sunburn or something more serious, make sure your first aid kit is stocked with waterproof bandages, antiseptic, sterile gauze, medications (like over-the-counter pain relievers) and scissors. Getting help quickly out on the water isn’t an easy task, so plan ahead (and be sure to tell someone where you are fishing and how long you plan to be out)!

  1. Safety Gear

Fishing buddy join you last minute? Friend’s boat broke down and needs to be towed? Boat won’t start? Wisconsin DNR regulations require you to have a wearable life jacket for each person on board and highly recommend you have flashlight (we suggest a waterproof one). Having these items, extra rope and a fully-charged cell phone will keep you prepared for any fishing surprises!

  1. Proper documentation

If you keep it in your car, you should keep it in your boat! Start this good habit now and keep proper documentation like proof of ownership, insurance coverage and emergency contact information onboard in case something goes wrong. Worried about losing your one and only copy? Wisconsin DNR’s new Go Wild system allows you to store some of your documentation like licenses and permits all in one place by issuing you a Go Wild card! Learn more about the Go Wild system here.

  1. A Copy of WI’s Rules and Regulations

Having a copy of Wisconsin’s fishing regulations onboard is helpful to know what fish you can keep and how many to avoid fines from the DNR. It’s also a great way to stay updated on new statewide rules!

  1. Sunscreen, Bug Spray and Clothing

If you want to make your fishing more enjoyable, have some sunscreen and bug spray onboard because it’s not fun to be sunburned and bitten by flies (especially at the same time). Make sure to replace them every year too (or when they expire)! It’s also important to wear (or pack) layers of clothing to protect yourself from the ever-changing weather of Wisconsin.

  1. Fire Extinguisher

It’s a Wisconsin requirement to store a fire extinguisher on your boat. Although it isn’t common, a fire on your boat can be life threatening. So, be prepared for the worse and make sure you know how to use it!

  1. A Sharp Knife

Whether you need to trim off excess rope or cut up bait, a sharp knife is a must-have item to keep in your boat (and even better to store in your tackle box!). Always remember to teach your children proper handling of knives like cutting away from their body and asking an adult before using them. Not sure what type of knife to purchase? Check out the best fishing knives here.

  1. Visual Distress Signals

Wisconsin state laws require you to keep a minimum of three visual distress signals on your boat! It may seem like a lot but having them available in case you get stranded is important! Check out Wisconsin’s boating laws for more information on what type of visual distress signals you should bring along on your next boating trip.  

  1. Extra Water and Food

A long and sunny day out on the boat can increase the potential for dehydration, so be sure to pack extra water so you don’t have to cut your fishing short. You also don’t want a boat full of hangry fishermen and fisherwomen, so pack some food too!

  1. Your Anchoring Skills

We all know that keeping an anchor (or two) on board is essential if you want to stop and fish, or to keep you from floating out to sea if your engine fails or in not-so-lovely weather. It’s also important to choose an anchor that fits your boat and the area you’ll be fishing. Check out these anchoring tips to brush up on your anchoring skills and to determine the best anchor for your boating conditions.

 

And there you have it: must-have boating essentials you should have before you go on your next boating trip. Although this is a helpful checklist to keep in mind, you should also take a moment to look at the other equipment Wisconsin requires you to have on your boat.

New Anglers Introduced To Fishing At The Urban American Outdoors Fishing Derby

On Saturday, June 29th, Learn 2 Fish With Us our volunteers traveled to Washington Park which is located in  Milwaukee, Wisconsin and partnered up with Urban American Outdoors for a fishing derby.  Learn 2 Fish With Us and are volunteers were there to educate the derby contestants on the skills needed to become better fisherman.  We taught them about water safety,  fish identification, knot tying and fish identification.  While they were fishing we helped them fish, and you should have seen all the smiles!!  For the Sobiech family the day started out by Renee picking up her sister Trina and her daughter Alesha.  They made their way to the Urban American Outdoor fishing derby where they met Captain Greg.  He helped them setup a Shakespeare fishing combo that they picked up at a local retailer along with line, hook, and a bobber.  Captain Greg helped setup their fishing combo so they could fish.  Five minutes later Alesha found Captain Greg and asked if he could help them fish.  Captain Greg said sure and they worked on casting and then went fishing.  On her first cast the bobber went down but Alesha did not set the hook and the fish was off.  After a couple more cast Alesha caught her first fish on her lifetime a bluegill.  She then went on to catch a bullhead to.  Alesha was excited and Renee, Trina and Alesha look forward to going fishing in the future!!

 

Oaklawn Elementary Thank You Cards To Volunteers And Captain Greg

Oaklawn Elementary fourth graders sent Thank You cards to Captain Greg and the volunteers.  Captain Greg and the volunteers appreciated them and enjoyed the art work and what they liked at the clinic.  Thank you so much Oaklawn Elementary fourth graders!!

 

Have You Seen A Cow Cast? Racine’s Breakfast On The Farm Attendee’s Learn 2 Fish

On Saturday, June 22nd Learn 2 Fish With Us and our volunteers traveled to Jasperson’s Sod Farm in Union Grove, Wisconsin’s for Racine’s Breakfast On The Farm.  They were forecasting wind and rain but guess what?  It was a great day with the sun showing up.   Learn 2 Fish With Us had a fishing educational booth setup where the families had hands on education for safety while fishing, casting, fish identification and knot tying.  The biggest attraction in the booth was the live bait.  The youth really enjoyed the leeches!!  Each youth went home with Future Pro shirt and were they excited!!

We continue to get invited to events across Wisconsin that allow us to educate future anglers that would most likely not attend a fishing clinic.  I love event organizers that think outside the box and invite us!!

I big shout out to all the volunteers that helped in the Learn 2 Fish With Us booth.  At this event we had two High School students that helped; Cory and Hunter.

 

How it all began: love for the community, giving back led Captain Greg to launch Learn 2 Fish

For more than a decade, Captain Greg Karch, founder of Learn 2 Fish With Us, has been educating fishing enthusiasts of all ages through his unique seminars called “Fishing Basics” and “Ice Fishing Basics.”  

At the time, he worked fulltime at Thrivent Financial, but said he felt something was missing. That’s when he decided to blend his love for fishing and passion for giving back to the community to develop Learn 2 Fish With Us, a not-for-profit organization 

Greg Karch: Sharing My Passion for Fishing

There are so many things pulling for our attention that it can be hard to find time to spend together. That’s where fishing (yes, fishing) comes in. Captain Greg Karch founded Learn 2 Fish in 2015 to help share his passion for fishing, give kids the skills and equipment they need to get started and give families—and even couples, like Greg and his wife, Karen—an activity they can do together. Will you help him reel in donations this #GivingTuesday to support this non-profit's free fishing clinics that help bring people together? http://bit.ly/2DLRuBe

Posted by Learn 2 Fish With Us on Monday, November 19, 2018

 “It’s a very rewarding experience sharing my passion for fishing with others,” Karch said. “I’ve learned to be a better listener with youth and families, making our fishing workshops stronger and better than I could ever imagine.” 

Greg said he is proud of how much the organization has grown since it was founded in 2006. With the continued support of Learn 2 Fish’s volunteers and sponsors, the organization continues to live up to its mission of “Growing the sport of fishing by educating and inspiring beginner and experienced anglers.” 

As Learn 2 Fish continues to grow, Greg said his main priority is mentoring future angler educators with a passion for fishing and deep desire to give back to the community who he can mentor, and potentially, pass the torch to when the time is right. 

 “Learn 2 Fish is supported by great volunteers, led by a strong board and is really growing in the right direction,” Karch said. While I have no plans of retiring from Learn 2 Fish anytime soon, am actively looking for someone who can help us keep doing what we do best: teaching fishermen of all ages and skill levels the need-to-know fishing basics.” 

To dateLearn 2 Fish has educated more than 35,000 anglers in Wisconsin and hosted over 250 free fishing workshops!  

National Go Fishing Day is June 18 – Celebrate by Checking out Captain Greg’s Favorite Fishing Spots!

National Go Fishing Day is a celebratory day to take a break from your daily routine to cast your line and catch a big one (plus, who needs another excuse to go fishing on a Tuesday!). Grab some fellow anglers, your fishing gear and some snacks (oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen!), and go check out a few of Captain Greg’s favorite fishing spots in Wisconsin.

1. Bay of Green Bay

If you’re looking to walleye fish, look no further! The Bay of Green Bay has some of the best walleye fishing in the state, making it one of Greg’s favorite fishing spots. The gold tint on the fish also make them a beautiful catch to show off for photos! He’s also a fan of catching the smallmouth bass that like to live and swim in the fresh waters of the bay. Plan on fishing the Bay of Green Bay? Check out this need-to-know information before heading out on the water.

 

2. Lake Winnebago System

The Lake Winnebago System is one of Captain Greg’s favorite bodies of water. With over 200 miles of fishable waters, this series of lakes, dams and rivers is home to many fish including walleye, perch, crappie, white bass, sauger, sturgeon and more (there’s just too many fish to list!). Greg also loves the variety of ways to fish on the Lake Winnebago System. Some of his favorites include trolling, slip bobbering, jigging, pulling flies and casting. Check out Captain Greg catching perch on the Lake Winnebago System!

3. The Madison Chain of Lakes

There are several lakes in Madison including Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, Wingra and Kegonsa. Captain Greg loves catching the big bluegill found in the Madison Chain of Lakes and plans on spending some of his days in retirement fishing this body of water (so if you can’t find him, you know where to look!). Unsure if the Madison lakes are a good place to fish? Travel Wisconsin named Lake Mendota as one of the best places to fish in 2017!

Whether you check out some of Captain Greg’s favorite fishing spots (or your favorites) on National Go Fishing Day , snap a photo of your fishing adventure and share with us on our Facebook page!

What Fish is That? Types of Game Fish in Wisconsin (Part 2)

It’s the fish identification guide you’ve been waiting for! If you’re still undecided on your catch after reading Types of Game Fish in Wisconsin (Part 1), check out our next list of common game fish found in Wisconsin below.

1. LARGEMOUTH BASS

Also known as “Bucketmouth,” the largemouth bass has a big mouth with an upper jaw that extends beyond its eye. If you’re fishing near lily pads, docks or weed beds, and catch a fish with a prominent line on its side and an indentation in its dorsal fin, you might have caught a largemouth! Fishing in weedy areas is risky though, so make sure you use a weedless bait or you may lose your lure!

2. SMALLMOUTH BASS

Shhh! The secret to catching smallmouth bass is to fish quietly near old logs or rocks. But how do you know if you’ve caught one? If the fish has vertical markings, a shallow indentation in its dorsal fin and an upper jaw that ends in line with the center of its red eye, congrats! You’ve caught a smallmouth bass. Pro tip: the easiest way to tell a small- from a largemouth bass is the size of their mouth! Small’s mouth ends in the middle of its eye and large’s mouth extends past its eye.

3. WALLEYE

Walleye have unique features that make them easy to identify including a white triangular mark on their tail fin and large eyes that help them see well in low light. You can find these large-eyed fish in clear-water lakes or large river systems. Want to catch one? Try casting out minnows, leaches, night crawlers or small plugs.

4. SAUGER

If you think you’ve caught a walleye but see a polka-dotted dorsal fin instead of white triangular mark on their tail fin, chances are it’s a sauger. Sauger are also smaller in size and have black and rusty blotches on their sides. Commonly found in the Lake Winnebago-Fox River system, these fish like waters that are muddy and dark.  

5. NORTHERN PIKE

A favorite among ice fishing enthusiasts, northern pike are large predatory fish that spawn along marshy shorelines or marshy streams flowing into lakes. These fish have horizontal, “bean-like” markings, a rounded tail fin, and scales on the lower part of their gill covers. A hungry northern pike will bite on almost anything that swims its way, but remember to use a steel leader and keep your bait moving!

6. MUSKELLUNGE (MUSKY)

The muskellunge is Wisconsin’s state fish (and the largest predator fish in the state!). Known as a ferocious fighter, these fish are easiest to catch with some big bait like jerk baits, spoons and bucktails! Musky and northern pike may look alike, but musky have wide, vertical markings and do not have scales on the lower part of the gill cover like the northern pike does.

Whether you’re a professional angler or just starting out, having a basic knowledge of the types of fish in Wisconsin can be helpful. Learning your freshwater fish identification helps you share your passion with fellow anglers and is also important when it comes to state regulations. Before you start catching fish, renew your fishing license and pick up a copy of the Wisconsin fishing regulations so you know just how many fish you can catch!

28th Annual Kids Fishing Day Is A Huge Success!!

On Saturday, June 8th Learn 2 Fish With Us, Karen and I traveled up to Manistique, Michigan and the Hiawatha National Forest to be part of the Camp 7 Lake’s 28th Kids Fishing Day.  We had over three hundred youth attend the event on a fine sunny day!!  We have been a part of this event for the last four years.  The first year we attended this event, the organizers enjoyed us bringing in our fishing educational stations to the event.  This year we added live bait to our fishing educational booth and it was a huge success.  The live bait included big sucker minnows, large fatheads, rosy reds, night crawlers and of course leeches. They were so excited to see them and hold them!! Our booth also consisted of the Learn 2 Fish With Us Pop-Up Banners for fish identification, safety on the water and knot tying.  We had a hands on knot tying and casting station education, where we worked with the youth.  Other stations at the event were a  trout pond where kids could catch trout, Aquatic Invasive Species, casting contest, fly casting and more!!  Learn 2 Fish With Us appreciated the volunteers that were provided to us by the U.S. Forest Service.  Thanks to the National Professional Anglers Association for providing fishing combos and a couple hundred NPAA Future Pro shirts.  Many of the youth asked Captain Greg to sign their shirts.

 

Learn 2 Fish With Us educates Oaklawn Elementary Fourth Graders To Fishing

On Tuesday, June 4th, Learn 2 Fish With Us and it’s volunteers educated Oaklawn Elementary fourth graders to the sport of fishing.  The fishing clinic was held at Menominee Park in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  The day started out by Captain Greg presented a shortened version of his Fishing Basics seminar educated attendee’s on the skills and equipment needed to begin fishing.  After the seminar the fourth graders were split into three groups  which rotated through three fishing educational stations which consisted of the following.  Station one was fish identification, here the fourth graders learned how to identify the different fish along with where they can be found and best bait to use.  Stations two, they learned how to cast accurately.  The final station, they learned how to tie a Clinch and Palomar knot.  After completing all the fishing educational stations it was time for the four graders to go fishing and they caught perch, bluegill, bullhead and largemouth bass!!  You should have seen all the smiles.