Members of Team Mongolia look at ice grips Wednesday at the Shepherd & Schaller sporting goods store in Wausau. The team will compete this weekend in the World Ice Fishing Championships. / Jeff Starck/Daily Herald Media
Profile: Batbayar Magsarjav, Mongolian team member
Each day this week, Daily Herald Media will profile an angler competing in the 2013 World Ice Fishing Championship on the Big Eau Pleine Reservoir near Mosinee. Watch for live coverage of the tournament coming this weekend.
Name: Batbayar Magsarjav
Hometown: Ulaanbaatar City, Mongolia
Occupation: Architectural company owner
Past experience: This is the Mongolian team’s first year competing in the World Ice Fishing Championship.
Most exotic locale he has fished: Russia
How central Wisconsin compares with his home turf: There’s more ice in Mongolia with fewer lakes. Most ice fishing is done on rivers.
Largest fish he has ever caught: A 98 cm (38.5 inches) taimen in Mongolia.
Members of Team Poland peruse through items Wednesday at Shepherd & Schaller in Wausau. The team will compete this weekend in the World Ice Fishing Championships. / Jeff Starck/Daily Herald Media
Team USA stands for the national anthem at a ceremony Wednesday at The Grand in Wausau ahead of this weekend's World Ice Fishing Championships. / Jeff Starck/Daily Herald Media
Anglers in Wausau for this weekend’s World Ice Fishing Championships are taking in fresh air and searching for fishing gear to take back to their home countries.
Dozens of anglers from 11 countries will compete in the two-day tournament that begins Saturday on the Big Eau Pleine Reservoir west of Mosinee.
The competitors arrived in Wausau on Sunday and have spent the past several days scouting the lake, taking in the sights and shopping. Several anglers commented on the clean air and streets.
“We’ve been here only a short time, but the people are friendly and I am amazed that the streets are so clean,” said Russian team coach Stanislav Radzistevskiy, through a translator. “It’s the typical small town.”
Event organizers held a ceremony Wednesday afternoon at The Grand in Wausau and took photos of the competing teams while their national anthems played. Event organizers had bused the international teams Tuesday to Fleet Farm, and the anglers were given a couple of hours Wednesday to shop downtown.
Radzistevskiy said his team’s priority while shopping was fishing gear, such as Rapalas and flashers. He can find most of the same fishing gear at home, but international taxes make the fishing items more expensive in Russia.
The Lithuanian ice fishing team walked the streets in the 400 Block of Third Street after Wednesday’s ceremony and did some window shopping. Purchasing souvenirs for their wives or girlfriends, such as perfume, was their second shopping priority behind fishing gear, team member Audrius Unikas said.
Like the Russians and the Lithuanians, the Mongolian ice fishing team did most of its shopping Tuesday at Fleet Farm, where they stocked up on fishing gear. They made a stop at Shepherd & Schaller sporting goods in Wausau on Wednesday afternoon, but left emptyhanded. Their target was fishing gear, but one team member inquired about roller blades, which a store worker said were out of season.
The Mongolian team did learn about the possibility of picking up more fishing gear later this week at Gander Mountain in Rothschild. Batbayar Magsarjav, a member of the Mongolian ice fishing team, had no doubt his fellow teammates will take home more items than they came with to the U.S.
“Our bags will be heavy,” Magsarjav said.