by Mike Nistler
It may have not been the sunniest day of the summer July 13 on Big Fish Lake, but to the 28 anglers and the 50 volunteers who participated in “Fishing Without Boundaries,” the day couldn’t have been better.
Held on Albie and Kathy Kraemer’s lake property, this was the second year the event was held.
“We started this because we feel it is nice to share when you can,” Kathy Kraemer said. “We have lived on the lake for over 40 years and have enjoyed it. We wanted to share the enjoyment of being on a lake with others.”
The Kraemers met Woody Sankey, the executive director of the Central Minnesota chapter of Simply Outdoors Experiences, at a different fishing event and the seed was planted.
“We thought this would be the perfect opportunity to bring the event to our home,” Kraemer said.
This year, just like last, 28 anglers and approximately 50 volunteers attended.
“Our goal is to increase the number of anglers each year,” Kraemer said.
The day begins around 8 a.m. with registration and a light breakfast. There is a starting ceremony/information meeting around 9 a.m. Boats start heading out on the lake shortly after. Each boat has a boat captain, a firstmate and two to three anglers. The boats are on the water for a couple hours and then come back in for a lunch. Anglers have the opportunity to go back on the water for another couple hours after lunch. The day concludes around 3 p.m. with a closing ceremony during which the anglers are presented with a medal of participation, a photo of the anglers and a gift bag.
The event is open to anyone with a disability (physical, emotional, cognitive or other) Anglers pay a fee of $35, which covers the cost of insurance, T-shirt, bait, fishing equipment and more. Attendants who accompany anglers pay a fee of $20, which covers the cost of insurance, Kraemer said, adding they also offer scholarships for those who can’t afford the fee.
“We want anyone who is interested in fishing or who would like to spend a day at the lake to have that opportunity,” she said.
To help raise money for the fishing outing, the Kraemers also organize a charity golf tournament and silent auction. This year that event will be held at River Oaks Golf Course on Saturday, Sept. 21. Anyone interested in participating in the golf tournament can contact the Kraemers at 612-865-3334 or 320-250-6363.