Bars Packed for Sturgeon Season
Sturgeon Season Boosts BusinessPhoto: Video by nbc26.com
OSHKOSH, WI, ---The sturgeon season is already having a big impact on local businesses, it's the busiest time of the year for many bars and restaurants in Oshkosh. Their owners are prepared for the surge in business.
Jerry's Bar is not your average Oshkosh dive. More like "The home of the hundred pounders" said long-time patron Jim Hamill.
Jerry's is packed Friday night, but Hamill says this is nothing compared to this weekend when fishermen will weigh in.
"We have more hundred pound fish registered at Jerry's than any other registration station on the lake" said Hamill.
The reputation brings in the crowds. But so does the excitement that comes with the start of sturgeon season.
"This whole weekend here is like four or five times a normal weekend so it's huge" said Jerry's Bar owner, Scott Engel.
Engel is prepared with extra staff and extra beer. He says even during the week he'll do double his usual business.
And the bar will be busy early afternoon through late into the night.
"They come out this time of year. Faces I haven't seen since last year. But iIve been doing this 25 years and I know all these guys. It's like a ritual," said Engel.
Anglers like Hamill hope this will be the year his prize catch will be big enough to be on display here.
"It's a lucky place to drink and a lucky place to spear" said Hamill.
The season officially kicks off at 6:30 am Friday and goes for 16 days or until the sturgeon limit is reached.