Interview with B&H Trout Farm owner - Kristina

Getting to spend an afternoon going behind-the-scenes of one of my childhood hangouts is something I won't forget anytime soon. This was made possible by the kindness of owner Kristina who took the time to answer some of my questions.

From your accent, I’m guessing you’re not originally from Wisconsin – tell me a little about yourself?

I’m originally from Poland. I come to America twenty-four years ago.

What made you come to America?

I just come to visit my family and I stay twenty-four years! The time was 1987 when I come to America; it was a situation where in Poland things were not very good. With communism you know, life was hard. So I decided to stay here.

Did you ever go back?

I go back every year for vacation.

What made you decide to make roots in the Dells? Did your family live here?

No, I first came to Chicago, where I stayed for seven years, and then seventeen years here in the Dells.

What did you do in Chicago?

My family had a restaurant & bar – so I worked there, and lived with them.

So how do the Dells come into play?

My uncle a long time ago owned a hotel here, so we went all the time to visit him. Then in 1994 we saw the sign for sale at the Trout Farm, so I decided to lets go live here – and it’s been seventeen years already!

It looks like there’s a house attached to the bait shop, do you live on property?

Yes, we have house right here. We live, we work. I have two boys that live in the Dells area. I see them all the time. They work here when I need the help.

Have you changed anything from when you first got it?

You know, not really much. People like it the way it is. People remember it. My son told me today that there was a guy here that first came in the 1970s – and he came with a great-grandchild! We have lots of people like him. So that’s why keep things the same, especially the pond.

Do you know if they were man-made?

This I don’t know, but I do know it is a spring feed lake. The trout do not live with ground water, it has to be cold, and the spring is what makes the water cold.

How deep are they?

I believe the big pond is like seven to eight feet deep, and the small pond is a little deeper, like eight to nine.

Anyone ever jump or fall in?

Yes, there was one time, a big group like 150 people, and believe it or not  two girls had the idea to go jump in with their dress on! They go in the pond & stay there for maybe five minutes, but then got out because it’s so cold.

Do you stock the ponds?

Stock it, yes. Depending on how busy we are sometimes once a week, or a couple times a month

How many fish do you think are in each pond?

It’s really hard to say, probably 100-200, but it’s really hard to know. We always order some, there are some from last year, but for sure the people will catch something – because that’s why they come here.

Like little kids…

Exactly. Lots of kids. The parents bring them because they’re guaranteed to catch one. Especially the small children, because when they go “real” fishing, they wait & wait – and ask – where’s the fish? They get mad! Lots of parents ask when they call or come, wondering if it’s true, and I tell them I guarantee they will catch at least one. I even sometimes have to go & help. Tell them to stay still, don’t move your pole. Sometimes there will be like five or six children, and one won’t catch one, and the others laugh – so I make sure & help that the kids get a least one fish.

What do people use to catch the trout?

We use the wax worms or corn, and they use the bamboo poles. Some people catch faster – some people catch slower, but you can stay for as long as you want.

Do you feed them?

Yes, right now when it’s 90 degrees we feed them early in the morning, and then also at night when it’s dark. They not very happy when it’s ninety degrees!

You seem to have a special relationship with the trout – almost like they’re your pets. Tell me a little about them.

They are a very delicate and sensitive fish. So that’s why you can’t release the trout after catching them, if you throw them back they die. At least most of the time. Most people that come here know that, but some people don’t.

People come especially for the fish. It’s fresh. There’s no chemicals. So some people come here to catch their dinner. Yesterday I had a group come and they caught twenty-two fish – one for each of them at the campground. They wanted everyone to have live fish for dinner. Then there is the old time customers that come every year. They will catch many of them to freeze them & have trout year round. 

Is there anything else you’d like the readers to know about the B&H Trout Fishing & Bait Shop?

We have everything for the fisherman. You can stop with your boat, and we have minnows, bait, beer, cigarettes, 6 packs, 12 packs, we keep everything convenient for our customers. According to them, B&H is the best place to fish in Wisconsin Dells! Just bring your family or friends and enjoy the thrill of catching beautiful high quality rainbow, brook and brown trout!

We provide free fishing equipment and free bait and tackle. Pay for what you catch by inch - we'll clean your entire catch for just $5 and ice bag it for free. There is no fish limit, no time limit and no fishing license required.

We can freeze and store your catch without additional charge until you are ready to take it home, or you can grill it and eat it at our large picnic area. B&H is a perfect place to relax and enjoy nature, great fun for all ages. It’s perfect for family & friends, reunions and parties. I give everyone a recipe on how to cook the trout on the grill – and I’ve never had a complaint!