Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Indee Bass Club Sweeps Iowa Bass Nation Youth State Tournament


The Indee Bass Club had an awesome showing this year at the Iowa Youth Bass Nation State Championship which was held on Pool 10 of the Mississippi River near Marquette, Iowa.  The tournament is divided into two different divisions, the Junior Division, for all teams in 7th/8th grade and the High School division for the older students.  Forty-Nine teams in total gathered for this annual event hosted by the Iowa Youth Bass Nation and President Shanda Heath.  The Indee Bass Club won the Junior Division, the High School Division and captured the Big Bass of the Tournament.

Many anglers took to the water on a cold, wet and windy Saturday to try and find locations that the river bass were feeding.  Largemouth and Smallmouth bass can be weighed in during this event, with the goal of each team to have 5 keeper (14 inches or more) bass to weigh-in.  Each team of two students can fish anywhere on the river they want, as long as they are back by the check-in time at the weigh-in site.  A captain, or adult is in each boat to drive and to keep the kids safe as well as coach them throughout the long day.  Saturday afternoon was the annual meeting for this event, it was great to see all 49 teams and about 100 kids all excited for the tournament day, even though they were stuck under a pavilion as the rain continued.  Boat numbers were handed out, some goodie bags for all participants and some brief reminders about the rules.  The meeting concluded and anglers set off to a night of nervous sleep before the biggest event of the year.  

Sunday morning rolled around, and the weather was much improved, no rain and partly cloudy was the forecast, a very nice September day on the Mississippi River.  Anglers, Captains and boats were put into the river to wait the takeoff well before dark and the anticipation was growing.  The event would last about nine hours with a start time of 6:30am and most anglers having to check back in by 3:30pm.  Captains drove the boats in all different directions once the tournament started, there is roughly 30,000 acres of water on Pool 10 of the Mississippi River so there was plenty of room to spread out the 50 boats for the students to fish.  When anglers and captains came to the big river on this particular weekend, they found the water levels a bit below normal.  This is typically a good thing in the fall as it can concentrate groups of bass into small areas on the river.  Once you find one bass this time of year, you are sure to find several more not that far away.  However, this was not a usual middle of September weather pattern, which threw the Mississippi Bass for a loop.  A big cold front swept in Friday evening dropping daytime highs of mid-80s to daytime highs of mid-50s, the first of such a cold front this fall.  It certainly did not make fishing easy for these young anglers, as the weigh-in would show.
Captain Andy Sommerfelt/Gable Eddy/Jackson Beatty

The Junior Division, which consisted of 13 teams started the weigh-in process at 3:15pm.  As mentioned, each team, or pair of anglers is allowed to bring their five biggest bass to the scale, while making the 14-inch minimum length limit for each bass.  The 2022 Junior Championship went to the Indee Bass Club anglers of Jackson Beatty and Gable Eddy, along with their captain Andy Sommerfelt.  This duo of 8th Graders brought in a limit of five bass that weighed 12.17 pounds.  The champions reported catching about 10 keepers on the day around sandy points.  They used topwater baits, crankbaits and soft plastic lures to catch their winning fish.  Colton Cameron and Carter Eddy with their captain Cyrus Butters also competed, however they were not able to bring a keeper to the scale.

The High School Division included 36 teams of anglers.  The Indee Bass Club was represented very well as five different teams took part, all bringing bass to the weigh-in.   Placing in 21st Place was Cam Wilson and Kyle Beatty with Captain Dave Wilson.  They were able catch their fish using topwater baits near sand drops and rocky shoreline to bring two keepers to the scale that weighed 3.41 pounds.  Hitting the top half was Cal Sweeney and Remy Ressler, they placed 16th with three keeper bass weighing in at 6.10 pounds.  Coming in at 14th was the family team of Hunter Weepie, Logan Weepie and their Captain Chris Weepie.  They had three keeper bass that weighed 6.15 pounds.  The team of Ranger Reed and Carter Cameron placed 6th with three keepers weighing 7.94 pounds.  This team also captured the Big Bass Award for the tournament as Carter brought in a 3.84 pound Largemouth Bass to the scale.  Swim jigs, crankbaits and spinnerbaits were the key around rocky shorelines for this pair of Freshman. Finally, the 2022 Iowa Bass Nation High School Champions; the team of Justin Schmadeke and Hunter Patton, captained by Eric Johnston.  This Indee Bass Club team brought in a limit of five keeper bass that weighed 12.18 pounds.  They concentrated on fishing weeds in the current with swim jigs and frogs.  They also caught a few later in the day with lipless crankbaits above the weed lines.  This duo also won the State Junior Championship in 2018.

Justin Schmadeke/Hunter Patton and Captain Eric Johnston

The Iowa Youth Bass Nation sends the top two teams from each division to the Bass Nation National Youth Tournament.  This tournament will take place next summer.  It is quite an accomplishment to fish against this many teams and come out at the top of the list, congratulations to the teams of the Indee Bass Club, as they will have the opportunity to represent the state of Iowa at the 2023 Bass Nation Youth National Tournament.   

The Indee Bass Club is made possible by the many great sponsors it has; Buchanan County Wildlife Association, Colony Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, Bank Iowa, Klever Concrete, Cedar Falls Scheels, Hank's Bait and Tackle, Hot Rod Baits Bass Series, The Rod Glove, X-Zone Lures, and Quantum Rods/Reels.  Many more pictures and details can be found on Facebook, Instagram and the bass club website: INDEE BASS CLUB

Carter Cameron: BIG BASS 3.84#

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