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Milwaukee River Kayaking and Fishing Fail

I set out to paddle up the Milwaukee River on a 50-degree day, stay out of the 50-degree water and catch big smallmouth bass I knew would be there when I got there. Easy. Right?

Not so quick. I’ve paddled up river on the Milwaukee. I’ve caught big fish on the Milwaukee. Not this time. I was quickly over my head with the paddling and through extreme effort I eventually got to my destination. I hooked two large, lifetime bass and I lost both of them. Fail all around.

I don’t regret the effort or the fish I was unable to land. Sometimes an epic effort is rewarding even when you fail. I go after kayaking and fishing to achieve something greater than sitting on the couch. It is getting out into the outdoors and communing with nature on its terms that fires me up.


I have come to love the Milwaukee River. Kayaking and Fishing on the river allows me to get beyond the bridges and explore parts of the Milwaukee River most people don't get to see. This trip was no different despite it feeling like a fail.

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