Ice fishermen visit sports show ahead of world championships - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Ice fishermen visit sports show ahead of world championships

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

It's the eve of the Ice Fishing World Championships. But before fishermen from across the globe hit the ice, they got to know some of their fans at the Central Wisconsin Sports Show

"We represent our colors, we represent our home towns, we represent our families," said Jason Gruett. "It's the same thing when we go overseas. We tell the guys, this is what it's all about. This is how we perform for our country and the people we love back home."

"Oh I enjoy it very much because we meet American hospitality and our old friends from other teams," said Igor Chinyakov.

Chinyakov represents team Russia. He says ice fishing is a much bigger sport in his country. That means added pressure to win.

"It's a great responsibility for us to show our best skills here, but the fishing is a very difficult thing," said Chinyakov. "It depends of many things."

There's also pressure on team USA.

"We went to Ukraine, and Ukraine won on their home turf," said Gruett. "In Kazakhstan, they did not, but made a very strong finish. So it would be very hard on us if we didn't finish in the top 3."

Jason Gruett is from Rhinelander. He says being the host country gives them an advantage. Competitors from Sweden agree.

"We usually fish for roach and perch, bream, that kind of fish. And they don't do like your fish-- much harder to catch."

These competitors say they're up for the challenge. But we'll have to wait until Sunday, to see which country reels in the world's top prize.

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