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Let's Go Fishing Wisconsin Submitted: 01/29/2013
Story By Ryan Abney


RHINELANDER - Let's Go Fishing! --is something we say to each other all year round in the Northwoods. But it's not so easy for everyone.

"Let's Go Fishing" is also the name of a non-profit organization coming to Rhinelander. For eleven years, the group has helped Minnesota seniors get out on the water.

Rhinelander is the first city in Wisconsin to adopt the "Let's Go Fishing" program.Joe Holm is the organization's executive director. He said the city's active community makes it a perfect starting point for the state.

"Around Rhinelander, there are some quality people. Out here at the Holiday Acres, Kari and Kim had a real interest in Let's Go Fishing. And we thought this would be a super spot to start this organization here in Wisconsin."

Holiday Acres Owner Kim Zambon helped get the organization here. He knows it's something the Northwoods will embrace.

"It's not like there's an older population that says...oh you should try this. Everyone has been on the water. This is a big part of life up here. So it's something they really miss...so it's an opportunity to do it again."

Tommorow night, Holm will host a reception at Holiday Acres starting at 5 p.m.


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ANTIGO - When you can't catch fish, it's easy to blame the lure. If you need something different, people in Antigo make a lure that you might want to try. The Mepps assembly plant is located right off Highway 45.

Mepps fishing lures were originally made in Paris, France, starting in 1938. Back in the 1970's, a local Antigo sporting goods store owner, Todd Sheldon, decided to buy that facility and moved it to Nice, France. His son, Mike is now the president of the company.

"The guys that own the Mepps company in France were getting old enough to where they wanted to retire so we bought the Mepps company in France in 1972," said Sheldon.

One detail that makes the lure number one in the world is that they use actual animal tail fur.

"The tails are washed, dyed and tied back there," said plant worker Kim Wiegert. "And they're dehydrated. They will store a long time, so they can last 3 to 5 years."

There are many benefits to using real hair as opposed to artificial hair.

"The hair is hollow and goes through a lot of wear and tear," said Wiegert. "Other hairs would disintegrate, and fall apart. With these, it'll last longer, the fish can bite on them and it'll take a long time before they'll actually chew them apart."

Along with the hairs, there is a secret way to put the lures together that makes Mepps the best.

"We have a certain wind that we have and we can tell when we put them together, how it should be. All of our spinners are field tested before they actually go out," said Wiegert.

Even though the company distributes their product around the world, the Sheldon's still enjoy being based in Antigo.

"It's home. I grew up here and my parents grew up here and of course my kids did. And it's such a different pace of life here than the rest of the world," said Sheldon.

Everyone putting the little pieces together are women. Kim is just one who works in the plant that has been there for nearly 40 years. She also gives tours of the facility to the public.

"I like to react with the people when they come in, especially ones that have fishing stories to tell you. It's interesting here and you get to meet other people," said Wiegert.

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