Sunday, August 21, 2022

Summertime Smallies

Locating Hot Weather Smallies In Iowa

The tug on the line and in the next instance a miraculous jump above the water...smallmouth bass.  This is always the first image in my mind when someone says smallmouth bass.  They are no doubt the most exciting fish that swims in our waters of Iowa.  They are known for the jumps, dives, long runs and huge topwater blasts.  All of these reasons make them a favorable fish to chase after all over the state.  Spring and Fall smallmouth bass act very similar, but in the hot days of summer when water temperatures climb over the eighty-degree mark they act very different.  I hope these tips and baits will make your summer days of smallmouth bass fishing some the best you have ever had.

The most abundant areas to start looking for summertime smallmouth bass isn’t very far from where you live.  The many interior rivers of the state hold very good populations of smallmouth bass, and some pretty good sized ones too.  The best thing to do is to take a look at the rivers in your area, grab a Sportsman Atlas and find those areas that have public access.  Whether you are on shore or in a small boat, you can catch smallies not far from where you are located.  Smaller rivers offer smallmouth bass their favorite food, crawfish.  Typically in smaller rivers the diet of a smallmouth bass will almost entirely be made up of crawfish, minnows make up the rest of the diet when available.  Crawdads spend their lives in two basic areas of rivers, tucked into rocky shorelines and/or buried in the muddy banks.   These areas are great to look for summertime smallies, most likely you will find both of these main shoreline structures along the swiftest of water flow.  This may not be the typical place you would look, but it should be during the hot days of summer.  You simply cannot fish too much current when looking for small river smallmouth bass.  

Now that we have the location of where these smallies will be spending their August days, what can we throw at them to entice some bites?  We need to go back to their food source, the crawdad.  Nothing imitates a fleeing crawdad better than a crankbait.  These baits dig down into the rocks, rattle their way past fallen trees, and are irresistible for smallies waiting in the current.  Another great bait to use is a small jig with a chunk trailer.  This bait can move much more slowly along the rocks and muddy banks while looking like the next meal for a smallmouth.  Depending on current weather patterns the fish may want something faster or slower, having a few crankbaits and jigs is always a great start to building your small river tackle box.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Indee Bass Club Pleasant Creek Lake Youth Tournament

July 30th was the day anglers from the Indee Bass Club met at Pleasant Creek Lake near Palo, Iowa for the third event of the year.  The first two events took place on "home" waters, right here in Independence on the Wapsipinicon River.  Pleasant Creek Lake made for an awesome venue for the kids to test their fishing skills at this nearby state park.  
Mother Nature was very kind to all participants, the day was sunny and temperatures were in the eighties, not bad for the last week of July.  The bass were cooperating too, so well that the anglers and lake broke the club record for the number of bass weighed in.  Anglers were able to bring in 31 keeper bass in the six-hour tournament!  That wasn't the only record broken on this day either.  The anglers also set a record for the most weight brought to the scales; 53.96 pounds.  
The Indee Bass Club is open to any student in Independence in grades 7-12.  Sixteen students signed up for the free event, which is made possible by the sponsors of the club: Buchanan County Wildlife Association, Bank Iowa, Colony Plumbing/Heating/AC, Klever Concrete, Cedar Falls Scheels, Hank's Bait and Tackle, Quantum Rods/Reels, The Rod Glove, X-Zone Lures and Hot Rod Baits Bass Series and Coach Todd Reed.
Pleasant Creek Lake is known for being busy and stingy lake for fishing, however the population of bass in this lake is one of the best around for local lakes.  During the event, only one team struggled to bring in a fish to the scales.  Coming in 7th place was Hunter Weepie and Preston Tatro, they had one keeper bass that weighed 1.92 pounds.  In 6th place was Gable Eddy and Jackson Beatty, they had five keepers that weighed 4.58 pounds.  Fifth place went to Ranger Reed and Carter Cameron, they had five keepers that weighed 6.76 pounds.  Outgoing Seniors Jackson Toale and Dalton Hoover came in fourth place with five keepers that weighed 8.55 pounds.  Third place was another pair of seniors, Teegan McEnany and Caleb Weber, they had a limit of five keeper bass that weighed 9.38 pounds.  Second place went to Cal Sweeney and Hunter Sherwood, they had five keeper bass that weighed in at 9.82 pounds.  The winners on this day were a duo of 7th graders, Carter Eddy and Colton Cameron won their first ever event with a five bass limit that weighed 12.95 pounds.  This impressive weight included the Hank's Bait and Tackle Big Bass of the tournament, a 4.54 pound largemouth bass that Carter caught.  That big bass was another record that was broken at this event, congrats to all the anglers that took part in this record breaking tournament.  A special thanks to boat captains as well; Dave Wilson, Cyrus Butters, Dan Sweeney, Chris Weepie, Todd Reed and Landry Jones.
Following the weigh-in, trophies and the Scheels Top Performers prizes of hats, rod sleeves and gift cards were given away to the top three teams.  All in attendance were treated to hot dogs and chips provided by the club and prepared by Julie and Clay Cameron.  The conclusion of the event ended with a random drawing, rods/reels and tackle were given to all students in attendance.   
The event was one to remember for sure, three different club records were re-written, a nice cook-out and over $700 worth of prizes and awards given to the students of the Indee Bass Club.  The club has many pictures and full results listed on their website, Instagram and Facebook page, just search out Indee Bass Club on those platforms.
Four Seniors took part in their last opportunity
with the Indee Bass Club:
Caleb Weber/Dalton Hoover/Jackson Toale/Teegan McEnany