Thursday, April 29, 2021

Spring = WIND

 Spring time in Iowa is purely a mystery.  I have been in a boat in early February, and other years I have been ice fishing in the first of week of April.  There is one thing, no matter what year it is, we can always count on here in Iowa...WIND.  

Whether you fish from shore or a boat, the wind can be your friend.  The wind will push bait to the windblown banks and the bass will follow.  When winds blow 20+ mph it does limit most anglers in their bait selection.  When the wind blows that much some baits just won't be efficient.  My favorites when these conditions hit are dragging jigs, spinnerbaits and crankbaits.  With these three baits I feel that I can cover the water column effectively and offer many different colors at the same time.  

Besides a 3-punch strategy of baits, it is vital to have the right rod and reel combos working for you.  One of the many reasons I like Quantum reels is that they are so easy and quick to adjust to changing conditions.  A quick click or two on the magnetic controls on the sideplate and I am ready to for any wind that Mother nature throws at me.  

Hit the windy banks this spring and you will find more bass!  

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Indee Bass Club April Tournament on the Wapsi

1st Place: EJ and Sam with 10.95#
 The Wapsi River near Independence has been in excellent shape all spring long.  The river has not been over three feet high all spring which is very rare, allowing students and adults to enjoy a lot of fishing this month.  That is the good Mother Nature can give, but then she deals three straight days of below freezing temperatures the week before the first youth event of the year, NOT NICE Mother Nature.  

The water temperatures were in the mid-upper 50s the weekend before the Indee Bass Club tournament, those same waters were showing 48-49 degrees during the tournament on April 24th.  One thing bass do not like in the spring is a massive decline in water temperature, and that is exactly what the club members were up against.

Saturday morning saw temperatures right at 45 degrees at the 7am blast-off, chilly no doubt.  As the morning progressed to the noon weigh-in the wind picked up and the real-feel never really felt any warmer than 45 degrees.  To say the least the kids had to battle the cold weather, wind and a river full of bass that were not in the mood to eat.

One thing I have learned in my 25+ years of fishing bass tournaments is that someone always finds some active fish, today was no different as 15 students battled the weather and the Wapsi Bass.  Two different teams were still able to bring a tournament limit of 5 bass to the scales.  EJ Miller and Sam Hamilton brought 5 nice smallmouth bass to the scale that weighed 10.95#, including the Big Bass of the event by EJ that weighed 2.29 pounds.  Their captain was Brian Miller.  They were able to find a school of smallmouth bass feeding in once general location on the Wapsi for the victory.  EJ reported that a Texas-Rigged Craw was the hot bait for the day.  Randy Toale was the captain for Jackson Toale and Dalton Hoover, they too had 5 keeper bass and placed 2nd with 6.00#.  In 3rd place was a pair of 7th graders; Ranger Reed and Carter Cameron had two keeper largemouth bass for 2.59#, the captain was Todd Reed.  Fourth place went to another Junior High team of Cal Sweeney and Remy Ressler.  They had two keeper largemouth bass that weighed 2.38#, their captain was Dan Sweeney.  Fifth place went to Zach Sidles with captain Landry Jones, Zach caught one nice largemouth that weighed 1.86#.  Kegan Postel and Jackson Wold teamed up for sixth place with one chunky largemouth that weighed 1.81 pounds.  In 7th place was Caleb Weber, Teegan McEnany and their captain Keith Corkery with one largemouth that weighed just under a pound.  The weigh-in went smoothly for Coach Todd Reed and his volunteers Randy Toale and Dan Sweeney.  All bass were released back to the Wapsi to be caught another day.  The weather was cruel, the students were cold, but seven teams were able to bring bass to scales to be weighed in, congratulations to all that braved the weather and caught some Wapsi Bass.

A huge thanks goes out to the club sponsors; Buchanan County Wildlife Association, Bank Iowa, Klever Concrete, Scheels in Cedar Falls, Hank's Bait and Tackle, Quantum Rods and Reels, The Rod Glove, Strike King and Hot Rod Baits.  With the contributions of these sponsors over $700 of prizes and fishing gear were given away to students at this event, nobody went home empty handed.  The next event for the Indee Bass Club is an away event at Big Woods Lake near Cedar Falls.  You can find out more about this youth club on Facebook, Instagram and their WEBSITE LINK.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Pitching to Perfection

Pitching is by far one of the most popular way to fish for largemouth bass.  No matter what tournament report you read, TV show you see, or YouTube series you may watch, Pitching is a staple in the world of bass fishing.  Recently I visited a lake for the first time this year after a huge cold front.  I had two rods on the deck, one rigged with a jig and the other a Texas-Rigged Tube.  Both of these are my favorite things to pitch into cover and along rocky shorelines.  I have used the same rod/reel type for this presentation going on about 10 years.  It is effective and it simply works for so many different situations.  

ROD: Quantum 7ft 2in Medium/Hvy Power with a Fast action tip

REEL: Quantum Energy with a 7+:1 Gear Ratio

BAIT: Hot Rod Baits 4-inch Tube

LINE: 15# Monofilament

The fast action tip allows me to make long and more precise pitches into cover such as limbs and laydown logs.  It also works well to skip baits under trees and docks.  The fast ratio reel allows me to pick up line quickly for a new pitch or when that bass starts to run at the boat.  This either saves me time or allows me to catch a couple more fish each time out.  

If you are pitching baits and missing fish, or fish are coming off after the hookset, don't be afraid to change things up.  This Quantum combo has worked for many years in a variety of models for me, however each person fishes a bit different from the next guy.  Mix things up and I hope you can get a "Pitchin' Combo" that serves you as well as this one has for me.