Lake Pacawa Park is located behind Menard's in Plover. (Metro Wire photo)

Annual Cops-N-Bobbers heading to Lake Pacawa in 2023

By Brandi Makuski

Local law enforcement agencies are inviting area kids for a day of free fishing — but this year, it’s heading south.

Returning for its 14th annual event, Cops-n-Bobbers is an attempt to get kids “hooked” on fishing—and have positive interaction with local law enforcement.

The program was launched in 2008 by Plover Police Officer Seth Pionke and Portage Co. Deputy Eric Koepsell. The event provides children ages 3-15 and their parents a chance to enjoy a free day of catch-and-release fishing with local law enforcement.

In pervious years, the event was held at Bukolt Park. But this year, it will be at Lake Pacawa Park, 1831 Maple Dr., behind Menards in Plover.

“Building bonds between children and their parents is important, so each child will have a parent or guardian with him or her,” a press release from Koepsell reads in part. “The program gets kids ‘hooked’ on fishing, not drugs or violence.”

Pionke said the program is funded in part to a grant from the Stevens Point Elks Lodge No. 641. The Lodge will also provide a free lunch for all attendees.

Officers from the Stevens Point Police Dept., Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources, UWSP Police Department, and other local law enforcement agencies will also be participating in the event.

There is no cost to participate, and no fishing license is required as the event is always held during WisDNR’s free fishing weekend, but registration is required.

Lunch and t-shirts will be provided, along with a limited amount of fishing equipment upon request, and fishing bait.

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, June 3. Check-in is at 8:30 a.m. Tournament-style, catch-and-release fishing will be from 9 to 11 a.m., with prizes and lunch to follow.

Registration is required by May 20. To register, email Pionke at [email protected] and include your name, number of attendees, t-shirt sizes for kids (youth and adult S-XXL), and contact information.