Riley Hemme, 2021 Master Angler of the Year. Photo courtesy Wisconsin Interscholastic Fishing Association

KAUKAUNA — The Kaukauna High School fishing team has been in the media spotlight as of late, and now one of its members is being recognized as the best in the state.

Kaukauna Fishing Team senior Riley Hemme was named the 2021 Master Angler of the year Tuesday by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Fishing Association.

Hemme, a multiple inductee into the WIFA Master Angler Hall of Fame, will receive his award at the 2022 WIFA State Championship Feb. 18-19, 2022 in Wisconsin Rapids.

Hemme’s quest for the top angler award was chronicled recently in the Appleton Post-Crescent, which described the competition between Hemme and one of his best friends, Brendan Papesh, a senior at Appleton North High School.

The statewide contest invites student fishermen to pursue trophy-sized fish from a list of 34 Wisconsin species listed on the organization’s website. It runs from Feb. 1 to Jan. 31 each year.

But Hemme is just one member of a talented team of high school anglers.

Spectrum News caught up with the team recently, which was co-hosting with Waupaca a ten-team tournament on the Chain ‘O Lakes. READ STORY HERE.

Kaukauna senior Jack Berken told Spectrum that he wants other students to get excited about the team, regardless of their fishing experience.

“I just like to get more kids into it. There’s a lot of kids who are just scared to be on the team but we’re all here to help you and get you into it,” Berken told Spectrum. “Everybody has tip-ups for you, an auger, a place where you can stay warm, hooks, bait, we have everything for you.”



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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.