Monday, November 7, 2022

Indee Bass Club Annual Year-End Awards

Coach Reed/Cal Sweeney/
Ranger Reed/Jackson Beatty
The Indee Bass Club held its Year-End Banquet recently to hand out some final awards and to look back at this historical season.  2022 brought many accomplishments for the students and the club as a whole.  The group started the year by taking 3rd Place at the Iowa High School Bass Team Championship at Pleasant Creek Lake.  In September, club anglers Justin Schmadeke and Hunter Patton won the Iowa Bass Nation State Championship in the High School Division, at the same event Jackson Beatty and Gable Eddy won the Junior Division Championship.  The same event saw Carter Cameron claim the Biggest Bass of the State Tournament.  In early October, the Indee Bass Club won the first ever Iowa High School Bass Club Battle at Lake Delhi, competing against the Cedar Falls Fishing Team.  It was a great year for the Indee Bass Club, one worth celebrating!

The annual awards banquet saw many bass club families come together for a fun evening of looking back at the many opportunities the students of the Independence area had this past year.  Each month, from April through October there is an event planned by the club’s volunteer coach, Todd Reed.  Any student in grades 7-12 can participate at no charge at these events, which is made possible by the club sponsors; Colony Plumbing Heating/AC, Klever Concrete, Bank Iowa, Buchanan County Wildlife Association, Scheels, Hank’s Live Bait and Tackle, Quantum Rods/Reels, The Rod Glove, X-Zone Lures, and Hot Rod Baits.  These events offer students a chance to get out fishing with friends and adults to learn about bass fishing, the laws of fishing and how to take care of our resources.  The club was able to give away over $2,000 worth of fishing gear to students throughout the year at the club events.  At the awards banquet there were still four more year-end awards to give out.

The Big Bass of the Year was caught by Carter Eddy.  He caught the 4.54-pound largemouth bass at the Pleasant Creek Lake tournament.  He caught it on a spinnerbait.  This bass is also the new all-time club record for largest bass ever weighed in.  Carter received a plaque to commemorate this accomplishment.  

The Angler of the Year awards were the final three awards to hand out for the night.  The Angler of the Year is given to students that accumulate the most points at each of the four club events.  If a student finishes a tournament in first place, they receive ten points, a second-place finish is awarded nine points, third place gets you eight points and on down the standings in one-point increments.  The points are calculated in all four events and awards are given to the top three anglers each year.

In third place this year was Freshman Cal Sweeney, he also finished third place in 2021. When interviewed, Cal had these things to say about his year: “I believe going to all the tournaments really helped even though I did not get a limit at all the tournaments, the points gathered throughout the year added up.  I like to use swim jigs, crankbaits, and plastics.  My favorite rod/reel combo is one that I won last year and one of the club tournaments. It is a Quantum Accurist rod and bait caster reel.  My best tournament of the year had to be the Pleasant Creek Lake tournament with Hunter Sherwood.  We had lots of fish in the boat and overall was a great day to fish.”  When asked about what character trait helped him earn third place in the Angler of the Year race, he said, “I think patience helped a lot with fishing, not only when you are not catching fish, but also on cold days when you sometimes have to fish slowly.”  Cal had a great year, weighing in bass at each of the four events, he finished in 6th, 3rd, 2nd and 5th.

Coming in at the Runner-Up spot in 2022 was 8th Grader Jackson Beatty.  Jackson spends a lot of time fishing throughout the season, which no doubt helped him to great finishes.  Jackson says,” Going out and finding patterns in fish and what depth, bottom, and structure they are in or hanging around is fun.  The most successful lure this year for me was the tube jig. Having that crawdad imitation is a good option in any structure or bottom.  My favorite rod/reel combo is my 7'3" heavy rod paired with a Shimano Curado.  My favorite tournament this year was the state tournament in September on the Mississippi River. That day was good for numbers and quality which is critical for a big bag.”  When asked about his most important character trait to be successful on the water, he didn’t hesitate, “The trait that helped me this year on the water was my determination. Some days fish will come right away, and some days fish won't come until an hour left in the tournament.”  Jackson finished the season with finishes of 7th, 1st, 6th, and 1st earning him the 2022 Runner-Up Angler of the Year.

The 2022 Angler of Year is Freshman Ranger Reed, he finished Runner-Up in 2021.  This angler has been very consistent in the past three years, never finishing below 5th place.  When asked about his recent successes he shared the following, “You have to fish all of the tournaments and you have to place high in the tournaments. If you do not catch any keepers, you get 0 points for that tournament.  You must avoid that at all costs.  This year I used a Wacky Rig and Spinnerbait to catch keepers.  I also used a lot of other baits when practicing.  My favorite rod/reels are Quantum Rods and Reels.  I liked the tournament on Lake Delhi the best, even though it wasn’t our best finish.  I like it over there in October because the lake is really scenic, and I learned a lot at that tournament about where the fish were living.”  When asked about his best character trait, “I always tried my best and never gave up. My partner for every tournament was Carter Cameron, he always tried his best and never gave up too.  You have to just keep working at it and your goals will come true.”  Ranger had finishes of 2nd, 2nd, 5th and 4th earning him the 2022 Angler of the Year award.  

This concludes the 2022 Bass Club season, a huge thanks to the sponsors of the club and the captains that are a vital link in getting kids out on the water during the events.  Students will continue to meet once a month to plan for 2023 and learn more about the sport of bass fishing.  Please find the Indee Bass Club on Facebook, Instagram and their webpage for more information and pictures.

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