Sunday, August 15, 2021

Slow Days of Summer...NO WAY!

 The lakes and rivers always get a little less busy as August rolls around.  I am sure there are numerous reasons why people don't spend their days on the water, most likely the heat and humidity.  However, the month of August can be as good or better than any other month if you plan carefully.  Here are a few things to keep you catching fish when the weather is HOT!

1~ Get to the rivers; rivers have current and most species of fish will not be too far away from a steady flow of it on a river system.  This is the main reason I do not visit many lakes in late July and August.  Rivers are a solid bet for keeping your rod bent.

2~ Weeds; oxygen levels can plummet this time of year, but if weeds are present the level of oxygen will be just fine for all species.  Gills/crappies/perch as well as bass and pike will hang around the green weeds on the hottest of days.  Live bait on bobbers are ket to the panfish, while weedless baits like frogs, swimjigs and Texas-Rigged plastics will work well for the larger fish.

3~ TOPWATER Baits; Bass and Pike both love coming to the surface this time of year to crash your baits. Some of my favorites include poppers, frogs, and walking baits.

4~ Early & Late; there is no other time of the year that is as important as right now to get out when the sun is coming out and fish while the sun is going down.  All species will be more active and trust me, so will you!

Get out and enjoy the warm months...winter is only 3 months away!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

July Indee Bass Club Summer Scramble


The Wapsi River was the site of the July tournament for the Indee Bass Club.  The temperatures were hot, the current was steady and the bass were hungry.  Ten students took part in this special event that partnered students and captains together by a random draw.  This format was to enhance learning for the club members by fishing with different individuals and sharing information, techniques and fishing strategies.  By the outcome of the event it was obvious that the format worked.  All 5 teams recorded a three bass limit on the night and all students reported catching some bass.  
The winning team of Senior Jackson Toale, 7th grader Gabel Eddy and their captain Rick Wendling found many fish on the Wapsi, their three biggest keepers weighed 8. 42#.  That included the 3.07# smallmouth bass that Gable caught, which was the biggest of the tournament.  Second place team consisted of Senior Teegan McEnany and 8th Grader Cal Sweeney.  Them and their captain Dave Wilson were able to being in 7.38#.  Rounding out the top three was Cam Wilson and Jackson Beatty, captained by Todd Reed.  They weighed in 5.31# of bass.
It was a very successful night for anglers of all ages, and the captains enjoyed the night as well.  All students were able to take home prizes thanks to the clubs great sponsors: Buchanan County Wildlife Association, Bank Iowa, Klever Concrete, Coloney Plumbing/Heating/Air Conditioning, Scheels of Cedar Falls, Hank's Bait and Tackle of Waterloo, The Rod Glove, Hot Rod Baits, Quantum Rods and Reels, and Strike King Lure Company.

Sunday, August 1, 2021


Having lived all my life in Iowa and battled bass throughout the summer months, when picking one lure to tie on to find bass, the swimjig gets the nod.  Sure, I use a lot of different baits during the summer months, but when it comes to finding bass in lakes or rivers the swimjig has become my favorite in the past decade.  

The swimjig is a very simple lure to use, when using one you need to remember that.  Many people want to make it more complicated than it is.  It is simply a quiet, no flash spinnerbait.  It is a bait that can be casted a long distance or pitched to very specific cover.  This is one reason why I love the swimjig.  Another reason is the simple way to size the lure.  When choosing a trailer fro your swimjig you are dictating the size of your bait.  A small 3-inch twister tail creates a very small profile, while a double tail twister makes it look much bigger.  I favorite trailer of mine to choose is an Optimum Baits Double Diamond swim bait.  This gives the swimjig a large or small profile depending on the length, but it adds a slight vibration with the tail and gives the swimjig a distinct wobble when pulled through the water.   

Here are a few other key things to make this bait a superb search bait:

SwimJig Brand: Bill Lowen Signature Series, hand tied by myself.  There are many, many good brands of swimjigs on the market!

Size: 3/16, 1/4 or 3/8oz

Color: varies with water clarity and bait fish

Rod/Reel Setup: 7ft Quantum Smoke Rod Medium Power with Fast Action/Smoke Reel 6.1:1 ratio

Line: 35# braided line with a Palomar Knot

I like to use braided line with this bait at all times.  I have found out that the overall catch ratio is much better than using mono or flouro.  Braid also is mandatory around weeds where fish are hiding this time of year.  

If you prefer to use mono/flouro for your line, then you will want to use a Med/Hvy Rod with a fast tip, this is will help with keeping fish on with the stretch of the line.

Both 1/4oz jigs: size adjustments made with plastic trailer