Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mid-March Iceing

Jacy showing a couple nice
keeper Yellow Bass

In most years, the middle March would find me in the boat casting for bass, not this year!  The ice is still good at certain places around Central Iowa, but you must pick your areas and "know" the ice.  Yesterday, my friend Jacy Large and I headed to Otter Creek Lake to search for some last-ice fishing.
We were not disappointed in what we found.  We fished in waters from 5 feet all the way to 14 feet of water.  We caught quite a few Crappies, a Bluegill, a few Largemouth Bass and a lot of Yellow Bass.
Some people reading, probably just took a double-take at that last fish.  A yellow bass is a fish that looks like a white bass or stripped bass, fights like a smallmouth bass, and tastes as good as any freshwater fish.  In all, it is a GREAT fish, however they are considered a "nuisance" fish.  They will, in time take over a lake and become stunted themselves.  They are ferocious feeders, excellent breeders and will eventually throw off the ecosystem of any lake and become a huge problem.  They become such a problem that the DNR will take the lake, kill it off, drain it and have to start the whole lake over, causing many years of no fishing for areas residents and wasting many fish.  So to say they are great fish, is actually wrong, because in the end they only cause problems for our lakes.  However, when given lemons, make lemonade, so while they are around, anglers might as well take advantage of their fishing action and their great taste.  To encourage people to keep ALL Yellow Bass, the DNR wants you to keep every one of them that you catch, there is NO daily limit on them like other fish species.  More information on Yellow Bass can be found here:

Keeping all the Yellow Bass and releasing all other species is
 the best thing to do at lakes infested with the nuisance species.

We helped do our part by taking out 60-70 Yellow Bass.  Some were given to other anglers on the lake, Jacy kept some for a family meal, I gave a meal to my neighbor and still had 40 fillets for a fish fry in the near future with friends.  Yellow Bass are fun to catch, but please take some time to learn about them and try your best never to spread any invasive species to waters you fish.

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