Saturday, April 30, 2022

New Year = New Rod/Reel Combo

Every few years, the engineers at Quantum come out with a new design to capture consumers and offer yet another great line of products.  2022 has brought a new line of SMOKE X Series rods and reels to the market.  So far I have been able to the use 7-foot model in Med/Hvy power.  This combo has been awesome for pitching jigs and Texas-Rigs in shallow water, it also worked well with a swinghead jig.  The rod has a fast action, so I also believe that I may tie on some heavy braid and use it as a frog rod or large swimbait rod too.  The reel comes in four different gear ratios, so you could use this for any type of lure you wish, with 9 bearings it is smooth and making long casts is not a problem.  The EVA foam handles are great and I like the new hook hanger they used on these rods too.  So far this has been a great combo, and what might be the best thing about it is the price tag.  You can purchase these directly from the Quantum website for $200, yes, both the ROD and the REEL!  A few years ago, Quantum also introduced an industry first, offering a 5-year Warranty on certain models of rods and reels.  Yes, the SMOKE-X does fall under that category, so buy with confidence from a company that stands behind their product for 5 years. 

If you have any questions about this line of Quantum products or what type of rod/reel you should purchase, just get a hold of me.  I can guide you through the process with a few easy questions and get you set up with the right kind of rod and reel for the type of fishing you want to do.

5 Year Warranty on SMOKE X Rods and Reels

Monday, April 25, 2022

April Indee Bass Club Event (Youth)


The year kicked off with a great start for the Indee Bass Club on April 24th.  Twenty-Four students braved the 30+ mph winds and temperatures in the forties to chase down some Wapsi River bass.  Adding to the curveball Mother Nature provided with the weather, the Wapsi River in Independence was also on the rise and parts were getting a little muddy.  Muddy water is never good for a consistent fishing bite, so the young anglers would have to make every cast and every minute count on this day.

With all the negative attributes going on with the Wapsi River, one positive was the water temperature.  The weather has been unusually cold, yet the water temperature still remained over fifty-degrees, while one team reported a reading of 58.8 on their temperature gauge at one point during the day.  With the warmer water temperatures, the bass were hungry and the ones that were weighed in, and later released back into the river, were very healthy and chunky!  The goal for this bass tournament was to bring five keeper (12 inches or more) bass to the scales for each boat.  Two anglers were set in each boat along with an adult captain to drive the boat and keep everyone safe on the water while learning the sport of bass fishing. Only two boats were able to catch their five bass, which is typical this time of year, especially up against the weather and river conditions.  

The results varied a lot on this particular day on the Wapsi, while seven teams were able to bring bass to the scales, five were not able to.  As with any tournament, anglers had to adjust and make use of their time on the water.  Almost all boats reported catching fish, including some nice walleyes and northern pike, however smallmouth and largemouth bass were the only fish anglers could weigh in at the event.  Here are the results, as well as angler reports on how they caught their bass;

7th Place- Jackson Beatty and Gable Eddy were able to bring a smallmouth bass to the scales by using a Ned Rig, it weighed in at 1.02#.  Shane Beatty was the captain of this pair of 7th graders.

6th Place- Cal Sweeney and Remy Ressler caught the third biggest bass of the entire event, a beautiful largemouth bass that weighed 2.43#.  Remy reported, "I was throwing a big square bill crankbait, cast after cast and finally when I was reeling it back from going along a fallen tree, the bass ate it right at the boat!"  The captain of this team was Dan Sweeney.

April Wapsi Champs: Dalton Hoover and Jackson Toale

5th Place- Cam Wilson and Hunter Patton came in with two smallmouth bass that weighed a total of 2.65#.  They reported catching both keepers on a Hot Rod Baits Tube using a Texas-Rig.  Their captain was Dave Wilson.

4th Place- Kegan Postel and Jackson Wolf caught two largemouth bass that weighed 3.45#.  Kegan said that they found some areas of the river that were out of the wind, had three feet of water and some laydown logs.  The fish were caught pitching Texas-Rigged Hot Rod Baits Big Craws and tubes.

3rd Place- A pair of Seniors, Teegan McEnany and Caleb Weber grabbed third place with five smallmouth bass that weighed 6.27#.  All their bites were in current, and all the fish bit on a Ned-Rig bait.  Their captain was Keith Corkery.

2nd Place- The eighth grade duo of Ranger Reed and Carter Cameron found themselves in second place with a weight of 7.99#.  They weighed in four largemouth bass, including the second largest of the whole event, weighing 2.52#.  All the bass were caught on spinnerbaits.  Captaining this pair was Todd Reed.

Runner-Up: Carter Cameron and Ranger Reed

1st Place- Jackson Toale and Dalton Hoover, both Seniors captured yet another win on the Wapsi River.  This pair had four largemough bass and one smallmouth bass that weighed in at 13.01#, which is a new club record for a tournament.  Jackson also caught the "Hank's Bait and Tackle" Big Bass of the tournament award, it weighed 3.65#.  He earned a trophy and a large tackle pack from Hank's Live Bait and Tackle in Waterloo.  Randy Toale was the captain of this pair.  

The top three teams earned trophies and Scheels awards of gift cards, hats and rod sleeves, all donated by Scheels of Cedar Falls.  After the awards were passed out each student was able to go home with some type of prize through a random drawing.  Rods, Reels, baits, line and many other items purchased or donated by the sponsors of the club; Colony Plumbing/Heating/Air Conditioning, Bank Iowa, Klever Concrete, Quantum Rods and Reels, Buchanan County Wildlife Association, The Rod Glove, Hot Rod Baits Bass Series, X-Zone Lures, Scheels of Cedar Falls, and Hank's Live Bait and Tackle of Waterloo.  To cap off the night, Jim and Cheryl Reed donated a meal of pizza for all the anglers and captains that took part in the tournament.  A huge thanks to all our sponsors for making this such a great event for the kids of Independence.  The club is open to any student in grades 7th-12th.  You can find more pictures and information about the club on their website, Facebook, or Instagram pages.  Coach Reed can be contacted by email with any questions or sponsor inquiries:

Monday, April 11, 2022


To all those Math people out there, this seems like a pretty easy equation...almost too easy.  It is a bit of an exaggeration, but it holds true more in the spring than any other time of the year.  This time of year the wind can be vicious for days on end, keeping a lot of anglers at home.  With a few adjustments in tackle and some determination you can get out there on those windy days and still chase those bass.  

I have always stated that the wind effects the anglers far more than the wind effects the fish.  Waves and moving water are a part of life for fish, however anglers often think that throwing baits to them and controlling a boat is too difficult on these windy, spring days.  A few minor tweaks can help anglers deal with the wind, and still catch bass.  

1) Mental- Get over it, and get after them.  It's windy, USE the wind to your favor.  Get to any rock covered bank in the strongest wind and catch those feeding fish.  The wind will create feeding opportunities, bass will seek out rocky banks such as jetties, dams, and any other rocky shoreline to visually feed.  These windy areas will have cleaner water and be full of food for bass.

This GREEN dial will allow you fish under heavy
winds.  Free mode is set for no wind, turn it up
as the wind increases.  DO NOT adjust the tension
knob near the reel handle on windy days.
2) Lure Selection- cast and retrieve baits, heavier baits will obviously be easier to cast.  My April favorites are a spinnerbait and crankbait.

3) Spinning reel- a spinning reel will not backlash, perhaps a good choice for some on windy days

4) Baitcast Adjustment- All Quantum baitcasters have 2 adjustments on them to manually dial in for every situation and lure weight.  Adjust the magnetic braking system with each type of bait to make those long casts without backlashing. (see pic)

5) Boat control- Turn the speed down.  This may be contradicting, but when the wind is constantly blowing, find the speed for your trolling motor that compensates for the wind and keep it there.  Applying constant trolling motor power is far better than fast, then nothing, then fast, then nothing.  Slow and steady catches fish in the wind.

As you can see, these are not huge makeovers to any bass angler.  Thinking about the situation, accepting, not complaining about the wind is the first thing to overcome.  Some minor adjustments in baits and perhaps to your baitcaster and you too can be catching fish this spring.  Stay at it, and remember to CPR this time of year so those beautiful bass can spawn!

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

When 13 Days feels like FOREVER

Thirteen days is not a very long time in the scope of a year, however for someone like me who fishes all months of the year it was a long time.  Ice fishing ended for me on March 20th at Clear Lake, and I was not able to get the boat on the water until April 2nd.  I just couldn't stand it anymore, the forecast called for a possibility of rain but I was willing to take a chance on it.  I grabbed my typical early spring Quantum Combos and hit the river.  A jig rod, Texas-Rig craw, crankbait and spinnerbait all made the cut for the boat.  I decided to try some areas for largemouth bass, as they are a little more predictable this time of year.  I wasn't expecting too many bites, but the chance at stretching some line was something I couldn't resist anymore.  

I started the day throwing a jig and the Texas-rigged craw bait with no luck.  I turned to the Ima Lures crankbait and started to get some bites, including a largemouth over three pounds.  Wow, did he have my heart racing!  

The feeling never gets old and for a brief moment I was all alone, fishing, and acting like a kid again.  I guess that is what always brings me back to fishing, and why I miss it so much, even if it is for a week or two.  

Enjoy the spring, we have had terrible weather thus far, but hopefully Mother Nature will put a few nice days together so many more people can get out and enjoy nature.  Please do everyone a favor and practice CPR, Catch-Photo-Release, especially in the spring season.