Thursday, May 18, 2023

Iowa High School Bass Team Championship

 The 2023 Iowa High School Bass Team Championship keeps growing.  This year there was a record setting 49 boats entered in the event.  With only a $20 entry fee per boat, and working with sponsors I was able to give away OVER $3,000 worth of prizes.

SCHEELS of Cedar Falls~~The Rod Glove~~X-Zone Lures~~Quantum Rods/Reels

Check out the story filmed by John Campbell of KCRG-TV-9 below:

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Indee Bass Club Kicks off the 2023 Year

 The Indee Bass Club held its first tournament of the year on the Wapsi River on May 3rd.  This event took place on a Wednesday evening and the weather couldn't have been any better.  Sunny skies and nice springtime temperatures made the night a beautiful one for fishing.  Eighteen anglers set out to catch as many legal bass as they could and bring back their five largest to the scales.  Although the weather on this day was picture perfect, the weather in the weeks prior to the tournament was not the typical spring weather the bass are used to.  Extremely warm temperatures and then a big cold front had the bass in unusual places and not willing to feed up as they typically do this time of year.  That did not stop the members of the Indee Bass Club though, as spirits were high when they were released to begin the event.

As sun was setting and the boats were coming back to the dock to weigh in their catch for the night the chatter around the parking lot wasn't as jovial as when they started.  Reports of bass being caught were on the low side.  Walleye and Northern Pike kept a few anglers busy, but the goal was to bring in five keeper bass.  The Wapsi River has a length limit on bass species, they must be 12-inches to keep.  That was also the regulation for the event.  No team was able to bring in a limit of five bass, which is very unusual for the Wapsi River.  However, as in any bass tournament, someone always finds some fish to weigh-in.  In first place tonight was the team of Colton Cameron and Carter Eddy.  They had three bass that weighed 5.36#, they were captained by former club member Cyrus Butters.  In second place was Gable Eddy and Zach Sidles, they had two bass that weighed 4.25#, their captain was former bass club member Jackson Toale.  In third place was EJ Miller and Owen Latwesen, they had four keeper bass that weighed 4.08#, captained by Brian Miller.  In fourth place was Ranger Reed and Carter Cameron, they had one keeper bass weighing in at 2.17#, captained by Todd Reed.  In fifth place was Christian Simmons and Carson Hanaway, they had one bass that weighed 1.09#, captained by Dave Wilson.  Big Bass honors went to Gable Eddy, he brought in a big smallmouth bass that weighed 3.35#.  Others involved in the event were not able to bring a keeper bass to the weigh-in.  

All anglers were treated with Subway sandwiches, chips and drinks at the weigh-in, provided by Tim Reed State Farm Agency.  Needless to say, they were hungry and very appreciative of our sponsor helping out!  The Indee Bass Club is a free club to any student in grades 7-12 at the Independence schools, including St. John's.  This is made possible by the awesome companies that support the club.  They include Colony Heating/Plumbing/AC, BankIowa, Klever Concrete, Tim Reed State Farm Agency, Cy and Charley's, Rick Wendling Memorial, Shay's Minn Kota, Hank's Bait and Tackle, SCHEELS, Buchanan County Wildlife Association, Quantum Rods/Reels, The Rod Glove, X-Zone Lures, and the Hot Rod Baits Bass Series.  You can find the Indee Bass Club on Facebook, Instagram, and their website.  The next club event is June 24th at Pleasant Creek Lake.  


Monday, April 10, 2023

Early Spring Bass Fishing

 April is always a great month to get on the water and explore the new fishing season.  The first few times out I keep it pretty simple, when targeting largemouth bass I stay shallow and have a Wig's Jig tied on along with an IMA Lures shallow crank bait.  Two rods...that's it.  Once the water temperature hits 55 degrees, then it is time to add a few more to the deck.  If I am looking for smallbass I incorporate four different baits.  A medium diving IMA Lures crankbait, an IMA Lures Flit jerkbait, drop-shot rig, and a Texas-rigged Hot Rod Baits tube.  These baits have done very well for me in the past, and in the first few weeks of the open water season, this is all I need.  Sure, other baits will catch fish, there is no arguing there, however for over 90% of the bass I catch early in the season, these baits trick them.  Either way, I have them tied to a Quantum Rod and Reel.  The durability and 5-year warranty on these products cannot be beat, click the link to find your next combo.

Spring bass fishing can be feast for famine this time of year, and I don't' think there is a rhyme or reason behind it most of the time.  I have had great days fishing in cloudy weather with 20mph winds and I have done well on sunny 60-degrees days too.  The more times spring rolls around I really think it has more to do with stability in the weather.  IF we get several days in a row of similar temperatures overnight and daytime highs, the fish really seem to feed up.  When we have 70s for a day and then 50s for a few days and then back to a 70 degree day, I feel as though the fish get a little confused.  Either way, if I have some free time in April and May, I'm hitting the water!

Thursday, April 6, 2023

The First Casts to OPEN Water

I hate to see ice fishing go away each spring, but that feeling disappears pretty quickly after that first catch out of the boat.  That first catch turned out to be a largemouth bass, which is pretty typical for me.  I love getting into shallow backwaters soon after the ice and trying to find where those largies are feeding up after the long winter.  April 1st was the first day floating on the water, as usual there weren't a lot of bass caught, but 4 in the boat in a few hours felt pretty good.  The big one for the day was a bit over 3 pounds, so all in all it was a good first day out.  

The rivers are high right now, and the lakes are still pretty cold, who knows what the next time will bring! 

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Good Bye Ice Season

 The 2022/2023 ice fishing season was another great one.  I was able to get out a few times with some kids,  many times with my ice buddies and squeezed in a few over night trips too.  We covered a lot of lakes throughout the season and hit the Mississippi River a few days also.  As I write this, there is still ice available to fish in the Okoboji area, but with the waters thawed and the rivers flowing it is time to shift to the boats.  We didn't try too many new locations this winter, but one that we did try will see us again next winter.  5 Island lake, known for its large population of Yellow Bass was a great trip.  Yellows are a favorite of mine to chase, and this lake seems to be full of them.  We had a group of six of us there for a couple of days and we will certainly be visiting there again next season.  The yellow bass are not the large size like found in Clear Lake, but most of them are of cleaning size and they have that yellow bass attitude, which I love.  Clear Lake continues to put out some great fish during late ice times.  Walleyes, crappies and BIG Yellow Bass make the trip worth it every time.  The smaller lakes that dot Eastern Iowa still perform for short trips, and I keep trying a few new ones each year.  As this closes out the ice season, I have already booked our annual early ice trip to the Okoboji Lake system, perhaps the best fishery in the state.  Time to get the gear all charged up and safely put away until November.