Hugh Bretl of Marinette died young but left behind a legacy of good fishing and close friends. A walleye tourney in his name will be held Saturday at Nestegg Marine. EagleHerald/Jody Korch
Hugh Bretl of Marinette died young but left behind a legacy of good fishing and close friends. A walleye tourney in his name will be held Saturday at Nestegg Marine. EagleHerald/Jody Korch
MARINETTE - Somewhere up there, Hugh Bretl will be critiquing the anglers, admiring their catch, and thinking he'd love to be there.

The first-ever Hugh Bretl Drug Awareness Walleye Tournament will be held Saturday at Nestegg Marine. Registration will be held at 7 a.m., and anglers will take off at 8.

The weigh-in will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at Nestegg. Anglers must be off the water by 3. An awards ceremony will begin at 3:30.

The entry fee is $100 per two-person team, and there will be a $20 entry fee for a big fish competition for walleyes and brown trout.

Bretl, an avid angler, died in January, and his friends and family organized the tourney in his honor.

"Hugh loved to fish," tourney director Brian Clairmont said. "He'd be ecstatic we're doing it for him."

Bretl shared his fishing passion and his passion for cooking with his son, Carter, 12, daughter, Brianna, 2, and fiance, Candie.

"His main love was golf and fishing," Bretl's father, Mike, said. "He loved to fish. Of course, he really loved his kids, he loved to camp."

The focus of the tourney is raising drug awareness in the community.

"Because we have a huge problem in this area," said Mike Bretl. "A lot of people read about it. They don't understand it. That's what we're trying to do."

The tourney will raise funds for the Healthy Youth Coalition of Marinette and Menominee Counties. HYC is devoted to promoting healthy lifestyles among youths and their families.

Marinette County narcotics officers will be on hand to discuss drug prevention.

"They're going to help us understand some of these problems," Bretl said.

Because fish are close to the Green Bay shore following spawning, anglers with small boats are more likely to enter. Clairmont expects good catches of fish.

Food and beverages will be available. Every angler who fishes the tourney will be entered in a drawing for prizes, including a Lowrance fish finder, a battery charger, a taxidermy gift certificate, golf rounds, a will package, clothing, tanning, fishing rods and reels, and other fishing items. Bretl thanks all of the businesses for donating prizes.

Organizers are planning to make the tourney bigger next year.

"It's all about the fishermen to get this word out," Bretl said. "If we can get this awareness out, save a couple of kids ... "

Dead fish at the tourney will be donated to the Food Pantry.

Spectators are welcome to participate in the event and watch the weigh-in.