Thursday, October 13, 2022

Indee Bass Club Lake Delhi Tournament

The student members of the Indee Bass Club voted in Lake Delhi late last winter to be part of their yearly schedule. The past two seasons the event was a hit with many fish catches and to no surprise it was the top vote getter to be placed back on the tournament schedule for 2022. Fall is a great time to fish the lake as the boating traffic is much less than the summer months. Anglers and captains knew quickly during this tournament that things were not going to be as they were in the past. Fishing turned out to be pretty stingy on this day, but that didn’t stop the Indee Bass Club from writing some more records and learning more about this great sport of bass fishing.

The event took place on October 9th from 1pm - 6pm. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, partly cloudy and temperatures in the seventies. This tournament was like no other tournament that has ever taken in place in the state of Iowa. It was the first ever "Bass Club Battle" between two different schools. The Cedar Falls Fishing Team, led by Coach Carter Moore met up to take on the Indee Bass Club, led by Coach Todd Reed. At no other time in the history of school bass fishing in Iowa has this taken place. The Indee Bass Club had nine boats on the lake, while the Cedar Falls Fishing Team brought 6 boats to the Battle. Each boat would weigh in their fish separately, but the team competition would combine the top three boats from each club to decide the winner. The traveling trophy will be here in Independence for the winter, as the Indee Bass Club defeated the Cedar Falls Fishing Team by the score of 14.51pounds to 3.01pounds. Experience of the lake helped the Indee Bass Club anglers and captains to capture the first ever High School Bass Club Battle.
Jackson and Gable are the Delhi Champions

Here are the details from the Indee Bass Club side of things, as this was a stand-alone event for the bass club as well. Carter Dauth led things off as the first angler to weigh-in. He brought up a big smallmouth bass weighing in at 2.50 pounds. He was fishing with his dad during the event, and he ended up in sixth place with that fish. Coming in at the fifth-place spot was Remy Ressler and Cal Sweeney. Remy reported catching that big largemouth on a squarebill crankbait. Dan Sweeney was the captain of that boat. In fourth place was the team of Ranger Reed and Carter Cameron. They had three keeper largemouth bass that weighed 3.41. They reported catching the keeper on a Hot Rod Baits custom bladed jig and wacky rigged stickbaits. Todd Reed was their captain. Rounding out the "Scheels Top Place Winners" were Cam Wilson and Kyle Beatty in third place. They had three largemouth bass and a smallmouth bass that weighed 3.98 pounds, Dave Wilson was the captain. This pair caught their fish using Ned rigs around wood structure. Coming in at the second spot was Justin Schmadeke and Hunter Patton. They had three keeper largemouth bass that weighed 5.09 pounds, thanks to Justin's Hank's Live Bait and Tackle Big Bass of the Event that weighed 2.98 pounds. They reported catching their fish under docks by skipping senkos as far as they could cast. The Delhi Champions were Jackson Beatty and Gable Eddy, captained by Randy Toale. This pair caught five keeper largemouth bass weighing 5.44 pounds using Hot Rod Baits tubes in the black and blue color combination around docks.
All 16 anglers that took part in this event went home with some fabulous prizes, The top three placing teams took home trophies and Scheels Gift Cards/swag, others were randomly drawn for prizes that included 4 rod/reel combos, shirts, hats, line, and dozens of baits. A huge thank you to the great sponsors of the club, they include: The Buchanan County Wildlife Association, Bank Iowa, Klever Concrete, Colony Plumbing/Heating/AC, Quantum Rods/Reels, Hot Rod Baits, The Rod Glove, X-Zone Lures, Scheels of Cedar Falls, and Hank's Live Bait and Tackle of Waterloo.

Justin's BIG BASS 2.98#
This event concluded the 2022 Indee Bass Club fishing season. They have an awards banquet scheduled for anglers and family members later this month to award some end of the season trophies. The club meets the first Friday of the month at the Jr/Sr High School at 7:50am in Room 220. All students from Independence in grades 7-12 are welcome to attend. Students learn about fishing techniques, proper gear set ups, the laws of the DNR, how to be stewards of the resource, and meet kids who have the same passion about the great sport of fishing. If you know of a student that enjoys fishing for bass, please forward this information on to them. The club can be found on their website, Facebook and Instagram, Coach Reed can be reached with any questions or sponsor information via email:

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

The Meaning of Fishing and Cheating do not mix

The fishing world has gotten a lot of attention lately, mostly negative.  I am sure everyone that has clicked over to read this has heard of, or has seen the footage from the "walleye cheaters".  If you haven't, to sum things up quickly...a pair of anglers thought that stuffing about eight pounds of lead sinkers and other items in the stomach of walleyes before the weigh in was an acceptable way to carry themselves.  They ended up wining the event, which would have paid out about $30,000.  It was big regional tournament, and they have won many times before too, it wasn't their time in winning an event.  The tournament director took notice of the walleye and the weights did not seem to fit the length of the fish.  He started to feel around on the stomachs of the fish and felt some oddities.  He then cut them open in front of the anglers/cheaters showing the illegal substances and the police were called.  Things are in the process of charging the men with theft/felonies, and just today their boat and tackle were confiscated by the Ohio DNR.  

So this is what fishing has become, just lie about your fish, break rules on purpose and physically cheat everyone??? Do anything to get fame/fortune by catching fish while cheating?  I have been fishing tournaments for about 30 years, the rumors of cheating have always floated around the fishing circuits, but does it really happen?  I am here to say, that yes it happens.  This national story has slapped the tournament scene right across the face.  Not just for walleyes, but bass too.  Dozens of people have asked me about the "walleye cheaters" in the past week or so, it is a black eye on all tournaments; big or small.  

The older I get, the more
this poster makes sense

All of this has really got me thinking at nights when settling in for the evening.  Why would someone do this?  Mostly it is probably about the fame, wanting to be the best, prove to people that they are better than someone else, and being a champion.  The money is probably secondary and just a bonus to building the anglers' egos.  While most cheaters get away with their tricks, these two "walleye boys" will most likely be going to prison and have a felony on their record for life.  They have truly ruined their lives, possibly their employment and who knows how their family and friends will treat them in the future.  I really hope the law pushes everything at these guys, as I am pretty sure that this was not their first time lying to competitors and tournament directors.  

Moving forward...does this whole incident teach people in the fishing community?  Yes, I believe it does, however for the bad.  99% of tournament anglers would never do anything like this, however I know (because I have been in events where cheating took place) the other 1% who have no morals now have one more way to get an advantage.  Call me a pessimistic old man if you like, but if you have been around the game of tournament fishing, people will burn their best friend for a couple hundred bucks or less.  It's true and it is the ugly part of competitive angling.  

Before this bass season took place I sat down and looked at a lot of different bass tournament schedules, including my kids' schedules who are both between 10-16 years old.  I decided that tournaments would take a back seat this fishing season.  I feared that I would really miss them and drive me a bit more crazy than I am I am on October 12th and I can honestly say I am glad I didn't miss the important things.  I still fished a few tournaments, hosted 5 youth tournaments, had a lot of fun with friends, had some top placings and continued to learn about the game of fishing, which I love even more than tournaments...always have.  I may have found a good balance and a good number of tournaments, but who knows what next year will bring with the schedules.  To all still reading this blog, I hope no matter what you enjoy about the sport, to keep loving it and pass it on to the next generation.  The love of the outdoors is always there, and our kids need to know that.  Enjoy this beautiful fall weather, ice fishing is only about 6 weeks away.