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Businesses Prepare for Busy Sturgeon Spearing Season

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Photo: Video by nbc26.com

Businesses Prepare for Busy Sturgeon Spearing Season

By Raquel Lamal. CREATED Feb 7, 2014

 OSHKOSH, Wis.- Those out spearing will have to brace for the weather, while businesses along Lake Winnebago are bracing for their busiest weekend of the year.  Tomorrow morning kicks off sturgeon spearing season and people come from all over just to get a chance to spear one of the oldest fish in Northeast Wisconsin.

Mark Horel sets up shacks with his friends out on Lake Winnebago.  They're getting ready for an early morning.

"Hopefully at 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning we have a bunch of us that have fish," said Horel.

He says it's a day he waits for all year and that sturgeon spearing is about more than just getting a fish.

"This is all about this group of guys and the camaraderie and having a good time and we jokingly call it the brotherhood," explained Horel.

About 15,000 people are expected to be on Lake Winnebago sturgeon spearing this weekend and that means big money for businesses in Oshkosh.

"Usually my opening day is almost like a week's worth of business for me," said owner of Jerry's bar in Oshkosh, Scott Engel.

Engel working behind the bar to help keep up with the constant flow of customers pouring through the doors.

"It'll be like a sardine can, elbow to elbow, it'll be tight," said Engel.

Crowds are expected to be even bigger than normal this year since conditions are so good.

"You can't ask for a better year, I think it's going to be great," said Chad Steenberg.  He's preparing for sturgeon spearing tomorrow.

For Horel and his friends, the excitement continues to grow.

"It's the enjoyment of it.  The sport, the thrill of getting one you know the thrill of your friends getting one," said Horel.

Many anglers who spoke with NBC26 say they predict this year's quota to be met quickly because of how clear the water is.