Thursday, February 17, 2022

The "SPOT" on the Spot

It is not common in the world of fishing when anglers find that perfect "spot".  When you do, it is often called the "spot on the spot" and it is an amazing day.  Typically, a general area where fish are living or actively feeding, anglers will reel them in with consistency.  Most anglers are happy with this as it makes for a great day on the water or the ice.   However, a recent trip to the ice proved to be one of those unique opportunities to fish on "the spot".   

I was fishing with four other anglers on this particular weekend.  Saturday was a great day of hole drilling and hole hopping, scooping up nice bluegills and the occasional crappie.  While hopping around from hole to hole I noticed a three-foot difference in depth at a few holes.  Most holes were reading 24 feet of water on the Vexilar, while a few had 27 feet of water.  In this 1/2-acre area I also noticed a buildup of fish on the ice around these deeper holes.  I decided to drill out the area with a dozen or so holes and started to picture in my mind what the floor of the lake actually looked like.  I referenced three different contour maps of this area, but they did not note any significant difference in bottom contours.  I/we, from fishing and drilling were able to find an old creek channel that these fish were constantly cruising in.  That three-foot drop in depth was the perfect highway for these fish, and we had found it.  We zeroed in on a 50-foot stretch of the channel that afternoon and our rate of catch increased.   Jigs and spoons worked very well all day for us, for the best times of the day, no bait was needed on the spoon, making for repeated catches.  Hole hopping requires some special tools that I would like to mention.  Utilizing a 36-inch Dead Meat Rod and the Quantum Drive size 10 spinning reel made for moving to one hole to another and dropping down quickly a simple/effortless task.

That night we discussed our plan for the next morning, which had the temps well below zero for the real feel.  Two guys went to try some shallower water that morning and the remaining three of us settled in our shacks for a 3-hole approach.  We found the spot on the spot the day before and I knew that the fish would be there.  I drilled 3 holes, one for each of us on the channel that morning.  The three of us had constant action of bluegills and crappies for the next four hours, and it didn't take long for the others to follow suit.  We kept a few meals to be cleaned and released many more back to the lake that morning.  It was one of those rare instances that we had found "the spot on the spot" that led to catch after catch.  What a great weekend of panfishing it made for the five of us, and a few meals in the freezer of some delicious panfish to boot.  

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

2021 Indee Bass Club Awards Banquet

The Indee Bass Club held its first ever awards banquet in the 6 years of existence on January 30th.  Coaches Todd Reed and Keith Donnelly greeted the students, parents and family members with snacks and refreshments.  It was a night to celebrate many things that occurred over the past fishing season as well as how the club came to be. 
Back in the winter of 2016 two students were working on a class project on how to improve the school.  Jackson Toale and Keegan Postel came up with the idea of starting a bass club.  After talking with several High School staff, they were sent to their current coach, Todd Reed.  The club was off and running by the next spring and anglers took to the water in the first ever Indee Bass Club event in April of 2017.  The idea from a class project sure has gained speed over the years, as a result Jackson and Keegan were given Co-Founders plaques for their efforts.  
Many other awards were given out this night too.  In each bass fishing tournament anglers are allowed to bring in a "limit" of bass.  That limit is set by the tournament rules and can vary from event to event.  Typically it is five bass that anglers are hoping to catch and bring to the scales to weigh in and then release back to the river or lake.  It is the ultimate each day of a tournament.  This year there were 16 students that were part of catching a limit, they include; EJ Miller, Sam Hamilton, Caleb Weber, Justin Schmadeke, Hunter Patton, Gable Eddy, Jackson Wolf, Cam Wilson, Remy Ressler, Dalton Hoover, Teegan McEnany, Carter Cameron, Cal Sweeney, Ranger Reed and Jackson Toale.  At each event the Big Bass Award is given out.  However, at the awards banquet the biggest bass of 2021 was awarded.  This 3.07# smallmouth bass was caught by Gable Eddy on the Wapsipinicon river.  Lastly, was the first ever Angler of the Year awards.  Like other sports, the angler of the year is accomplished by catching bass and accumulating points at each event.  Ten points are given for a first place finish, nine points for a second place finish, eight points for a third place finish and so on all the way down to one point.  Coming in at the 3rd Place spot was 8th Grader McAllister Sweeney with 28 points.  Ranger Reed, another 8th Grader took the Runner-Up spot in the Angler of the Year race with 31 points.  Senior Jackson Toale was crowned the 2021 Angler of the Year, he accumulated 35 points over the four tournaments.  Complete results and pictures can be seen on the club website, just search Indee Bass Club. 
Jackson Toale / Ranger Reed / Cal Sweeney

The night was a great night to celebrate the anglers, families and sponsors that make this club possible.   Sponsors for the Indee Bass Club include; Colony Heating/Plumbing/Air Conditioning, Buchanan County Wildlife Association, Bank Iowa, Klever Concrete, Hank's Bait and Tackle, Scheels of Cedar Falls, Quantum Rods and Reels, The Rod Glove, and Hot Rod Baits Bass Series.  All these sponsors help create an atmosphere that students can learn about the outdoors, learn and follow DNR laws, water safety, how to be stewards of our waters and land, and of course the chance to enjoy a great day in the outdoors fishing.  What a great way to end the 2021 fishing season, and I think all involved are excited about the upcoming 2022 Indee Bass Club Season.  You can find the Indee Bass Club on Facebook, Instagram and our club website.