Sunday, May 14, 2017

Independence High School Bass Fishing Club

This past weekend marked a first for Independence, IA.  I have had the honor to lead and advise the Independence High School Bass Club the last few months, and this past Saturday was the first ever high school bass tournament in this area.  This wasn't the first organization I have helped out, many years ago a few students from the Iowa State University came to me for information and leadership to start that club, which is still going strong.  All my life, when I see someone with a similar passion as I have for fishing, I have tried to help out as much as I can.

So far this year during our bass club meetings the students have learned about water safety, DNR rules, being a steward of our resources, and general tips for choosing the right gear for bass.  However, a day ago it was time to put their gear and knowledge to the test to see if they could trick some local Wapsipinicon River bass.

The tournament was open to any student in grades 7-12, and 19 students showed up to fish out of 10 boats to try their skill on the Wapsi.  The weather was perfect, fish were caught; many northern pike and a few bass.  Like any tournament on any body of water, someone always seems to find the active fish and they rise to the top.  The team of Tayten and Brennan weighed in two keeper bass for 3.45 pounds to take the win.  Congratulations to them and all anglers that made it out to fish this inaugural event!

A huge thanks to the all the boat captains that drove the boats around for the students at this event.  Without them the event would have never been able to take place.  Also, Hot Rod Baits was a monetary sponsor for the event to eliminate all costs for the students, as this event was free for them to participate in.  They also donated many prizes for the kids too.

I write this with much pride that this club has taken off and I hope the future is bright for this student club.  I will do my part to keep things going and I hope many more students will be able to enjoy the the world of fishing and create many friendships as this great sport has done for me over the years.
A huge thanks to my partners too, without them I couldn't do what I do for the sport of fishing; Quantum Rods/Reels, Hot Rod Baits, Optimum Baits, Vexilar, Bill's Pizza, Tim Reed State Farm, and The Iowa Sportsman Magazine.

If you are interested in helping this group grow, please contact me personally via email;   Please "like" the Independence High School Bass Club on Facebook or click over to their website: to keep up with all the action.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Passing it on

I had the opportunity to present to about 125 students this week during their annual Fish Iowa field trip.  Just seeing all those kids walking around nature and enjoying themselves was quite a site, but to be able to teach them about some advanced fishing skills was even better.

First, a little history on the Fish Iowa program.  This is a curriculum designed by the Iowa DNR to bring awareness of fish and the opportunities available here in Iowa.  This program is designed for all ages, but 5th grade really seems like a good fit to fully jump into the program.  This curriculum has many different levels and teachers can cater their instruction to as little or as much as they would like to include.  Here in Independence they conclude their learning a with field experience, some hands on activities, and many experts in the field of fishing.  If you have younger kids in school, you may want to ask if their teachers have ever heard of might just hook them into trying it with your kids.

It was my honor and privilege to be a part of this and pass on some knowledge about the advanced techniques, rods/reels and baits anglers can use to catch fish here in Iowa.  Other stations kids visited were about fish identification/laws, erosion, pond fishing, and water safety.  The kids were great and the many community volunteers and DNR employees made the day very educational for those 125 kids.