By Steve Weisman
The weekend of June 6-8 was the annual free fishing weekend for all Iowa residents. This weekend coincided with two annual events held by the Iowa Great Lakes Fishing Club (IGLFC): the annual spring rendezvous for all IGLFC members on Saturday and the “Let’s Go Fishing” opportunity for people who don’t often get the opportunity to go fishing.
The annual spring rendezvous found most of the anglers fishing Big Spirit Lake. After a full day on the water, club members met at McKeen’s Pub for a meal and a program announcing category winners (walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike and muskie) and drawings for special prizes.
The Rendezvous is a release-only format with all catches having to be witnessed and affidavits signed by a witness. Fish are measured for length and then released.
Terry Thomsen, IGLFC vice president reflected on the day. “This is an annual event for our club and one that is very enjoyable for those who participate.” Although some anglers tried other lakes, most fished Big Spirit Lake.
Thomsen noted, “Many fish were caught–especially walleyes and northerns–on a cool and cloudy day on Spirit Lake. It’s a very low key event, and the techniques that members were using were shared all day by those using a marine radio and later that afternoon at the get-together at McKeen’s.”
Thomsen says the IGLFC is always looking to include more members in the Rendezvous. “It’s a great opportunity to learn our lakes and learn what members are using to catch fish. Most important to me is the camaraderie with other people who like to fish.”
Winners of the categories include:
Heath Gray won the walleye division with a three-fish limit, a 22-inch walleye and two 20-inch walleyes.
Jim Taylor won the smallmouth bass division with fish, a 19-inch and a 16-inch smallmouth.
Terry Thomsen won the largemouth bass division with a 16.5-inch bass.
Loren Leslie won the northern pike division with a 29-inch pike.
Jeannie Noah won the muskie division with a 31-inch fish.
According to Thomsen, everybody had a great time at McKeen’s. ”In addition to prizes for the division winners, everyone in the crowd was presented a raffle ticket and was able to get a chance to win some very nice fishing gear. Much fun was had and many stories told, some of them true!”
As always, the IGLFC memberships are available for any area resident. “We encourage people to become members and join in the fun.”
Let’s Go Fishing
The IGLFC held its second annual “Let’s Go Fishing” day on Sunday, June 8 on Spirit Lake. The outing is designed to help people go fishing who may not have the opportunity to fish very much.
A total of 10 people took advantage of the opportunity to fish with one of five IGLFC members that provided their boats and equipment: Laef Lundbeck, Gary Biederman, Dean Jacobsen, Kyle Thomsen and Terry Thomsen.
After a cloudy, dreary day on Saturday, Sunday’s weather brought sunny skies and very little wind.
According to Terry Thomsen, one of the guides, “All of us had a great time. Our visitors all talked about how appreciative they were of the time and effort that the club volunteers provided.”
Unfortunately, even though the weather was perfect, the fishing was a little slow, but several walleyes and pike were taken.
We would like to have more people take the opportunity to try this. I am sure we will host the event again next year,” said Thomsen.