Some local ice anglers entered the New Year on a high note, catching and releasing quality fish on the Chetek Chain of Lakes last week. Pictured above, at left, are Chetek sisters Skylar and Rayah Schaaf, holding up a giant northern pike that Rayah caught while fishing with a shiner on Saturday, Jan. 2. The 39-inch fish was too heavy for her to hold, so Skylar lent a helping hand with the roughly 17-pound fish. It is the biggest fish that Rayah has caught and she happily released it after a few photos with her sister and parents, Dusty and Heather Schaaf. “She also caught a 34-inch pike out of the same hole 30 minutes later. She told us she wanted to go fishing that morning and wanted to catch the biggest fish; and she did,” Dusty stated. Cameron resident Austin Bayer, pictured at right, spent New Year’s Eve on the Chetek Chain and it paid off as he landed this massive 26-inch, 9-pound walleye while fishing with his wife, Cheyenne, their son, Rhett, his in-laws, Wendy and Tara Dallmann, and some family friends. Bayer noted that he caught the walleye on a shiner and that “the release was better than the catch.” Pictured with Bayer is family friend Beth Scozzafave.
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