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Big Ol' FishSubmitted: 08/09/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas

Big Ol' Fish
THE NORTHWOODS - Back here in the Northwoods there are still plenty of people enjoying great fishing. We even have a catch from one of our own. It's time to check out this week's Big Ol Fish.

Little Blaiden Emerson of Wausau was fishing with his family and using his favorite spiderman fishing pole. The 5 year old was so excited to hook this bass. The fish jumped out of the water twice as Blaiden was reeling it in. His dad had the net ready, and it was a good thing because as soon as he pulled it out of the water, the line broke. Blaiden says his 18 inch bass was an awesome catch.

Michael Stephenson was vacationing with his family and visiting his big sis Lauren. He went out with his dad and local guide, Lon Millard on Big Sand Lake near Phelps. He couldn't belive his eyes when he brought in this 41 inch musky. He was using wacky worms for bait, and they worked, cause this was his biggest fish ever.

And our own seasoned fisherman, Matt Benz, went fishing with his dad last Sunday. They were on a spring fed pond at a secret fishing spot in Langlade County. Matt caught several big fish that day but this was the biggest brown trout of his life. He was using a 4 pound test line on a short rod and reeled in this 20 and a quarter incher. As you can see from his smile, Matt was very proud of this trout.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

MINOCQUA - When you think of the Northwoods, you probably never thought you'd put the words, "lake" and "surfing" together.

Erik Quamme is a novice wake surfer, and this is just the third time he's skimmed the waves in Minocqua.

He gotten started thanks to SurfSCONSIN's Mike Scandin and Chad Baker.

"Just appreciate the power the wave has. They don't have to work that hard. It is just that balanced motion," said Scandin.

Nearly every day for the last two summers, Chad drives the boat while Mike coaches.

The boat goes at a low speed to create the perfect wave and that keeps your body from taking a beating.

"Everybody is getting older. Everyone feels those aches and pains. You just don't have those major wipeouts," said Baker.

The key to wake surfing is the boat does all the work.

Friends Erik Quamme and Chad Scott are two of SurfSCONSIN's newest surfers.

They're still pretty new at riding, but both say it's the coaching that's helped them learn fast.

"Mike is sitting there telling you to move your left foot forward or scrunch your toes forward," said Quamme.

"If Erik and I had a boat and a couple of boards-- it could take days to figure out foot placement and rope length," said Scott.

You can catch 12-year-surfer Mark Mapes with Mike and Chad almost every day, sometimes showing off a trick or two.

For him, it's the socialness of wave surfing that makes the sport special.

"You can talk to each other, the boat is moving slow you can hear. You can talk to the surfer back there," said Mapes.

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WESTON - The Habitat for Humanity of Wausau celebrated a big milestone on Saturday. The organization held the grand opening for its new Recycled Building Materials facility.

The new building is a place where people can go to buy new and used building materials. For the grand opening, there was face painting for kids, free hot dogs, and even a visit from Woody Woodchuck.

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THREE LAKES - One teenager decided to spend a day giving back to the Three Lakes community 18-year-old Maxwell Blanchard lives in L.A but always makes it back to Three Lakes during the summer. 

Blanchard learned how to water ski and wakeboard in Three Lakes at five years old. 

On Sunday he spent the day giving free water skiing and wakeboarding lessons.

"[To] get someone new out there to ski or at least get them attempting. It's always fun when you get the kids who are a little nervous out there and a little shaky, then they get out there and they love it," said Blanchard. 

Blanchard said every year the water sports community chooses a day to give back and participate in "International Pass the Handle Day."

 Kylee Swendson decided to help Blanchard this year with the lessons. 

"It's great for everybody to get a chance to learn especially people who don't get the opportunity every day," said Swendson. 

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EAGLE RIVER - During the summer Northland Pines High School is being used as the home base for a foreign exchange program. 

The Northwoods Adventure Quest Program brings students from China and America together.

 Last year travel rules stopped the program from happening, but this year the students and organizers are more driven than ever to keep their mission going. 

"You get to form relationships with people from around the world," said 10- year- old Chase Neubauer. 

This is Neubauer's first time joining the two week Adventure Quest Program. 

The goal of the program is to do more than just keep kids busy during the summer. 

"[It] promotes connections with Wisconsin especially the Northern part [of Wisconsin with] all of China," said WISP Executive Director Xiaodong Kuang.

Kuang is one the organizers of the quest program. He couldn't think of a better way of promoting his goal than starting with young students. 

"[So that] the young generation, who will be the future leaders of the world, [can] appreciate cultures and know more about each other," said Kuang. 

This is Power Liu's first time coming to America with the program. 

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RHINELANDDER - Most people who kayak will go out for a few hours and cover several miles. But one southwestern Wisconsin man is trying to cover more than 400 miles as fast as possible.

Ben Sasse is from Muscoda and is trying to break the speed record for paddling the Wisconsin River.

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RHINELANDER - In June, the Rhinelander City Council approved a fenced-in dog park at Shepard Park. It's something Tina Werres has been working towards for the last 10 years.

On Saturday, about 30 volunteers gathered at Shepard Park to clean up the south end of the park.

The fence is scheduled to be put up in about three weeks so Werres wanted to get the area cleaned up as soon as possible.

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MANITOWISH WATERS - "When you have something like this everybody turns a little bit Irish," said Irish Fest volunteer Ron Troller.

Ye Olde Shillelagh in Manitowish Waters hosted its Second Annual Irish Festival this weekend. The big draw for the volunteers and attendees is the music.

"Who doesn't like professional Irish music," said Troller.

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