By Steve Weisman
The third annual Yellow Bass Bonanza scheduled for Saturday, February 8 on Clear Lake it promises to be bigger than ever. Clear Lake-area guides and organizers of the event Kevan Paul and Chris Scholl expect to reach the 250-team cutoff in 2015. “Our first year went great with 195 anglers,” said Paul. “Last year we hit 236 teams, and this year slots are filling faster than ever!”
According to Paul and Scholl, the Yellow Bass Bonanza is truly an ice fishing tournament that gives everybody a chance to “reel in” some really great cash and prizes. Based on 250 teams, payouts include $500 in cash along with a $1000 Cabela’s ice fishing package for first place, $700 for second and $500 for third. Payouts will go 1-25 places, with an additional 25 random places #25-#250 taking home either cash or highly valued fishing products. In addition, the big fish pot of a Cash prize and a $150 Berkley tackle package will go to the angler who catches the largest white bass.
“We are also adding something new this year,” said Paul. “We are going to have 10 tagged yellow bass that could be worth anywhere from $100 to $15,000. As soon as a contestant catches one of these tagged fish, they are to bring it to the weigh station.” The $15,000 prize includes a 2015 Polaris 2-Up Sportsman 570 Sponsored my Mason City Power Sports, an all aluminum trailer Sponsored by Truck Specialties, Grizzly cooler and a 2000-watt Yamaha generator.
About the Bonanza
Cost to enter the Yellow Bass Bonanza is $75 per team with anglers allowed to weigh up to 50 yellow bass. Anglers can fish as individuals or can partner up with another angler, but they can still only weigh a combined limit of 50 yellow bass. Partners must fish within 50 feet of each other, while contestants can be no closer than 20 feet from another team. To further encourage the most efficient weigh-in, Paul and Scholl are offering a special prize for the first limit brought to the scales.
Paul and Scholl have named the “Little Lake” and the basin of the main lake west of the thin ice signs as the legal fishing areas (The YBB reserves the right to limit the fishing area based on ice conditions). The Bonanza take-off and weigh-in area will be McIntosh Woods State Park on Clear Lake’s west end with a 9 a.m. shotgun start and the weigh-in taking place at 1 p.m.
For those interested, District 619 Steakhouse will be providing a pay-on-your-own breakfast buffet from 6-8:00 a.m. “As always, the food will be good,” said Paul.
Modes of transportation include by walking, snowmobile or ATV. However, no vehicles (automobiles) will be allowed. Portable shelters may be used, but no permanent shacks, wheel houses or enclosed trailers may be used.
Saturday evening Ice Bash
To kick off the Yellow Bass Bonanza, Saturday evening will include the Ice Bash from 4-8 p.m. “The $75 entry fee provides the anglers with two Ice Bash tickets good for two meals catered by West River Meats. The entry fee also gives anglers two tickets for chances on a wide range of door prizes.” The evening will include the meal, a rules meeting, a yellow bass fishing seminar, product demos, multiple vendors and lots of door prizes.
Capping it off
“Chris and I really want to thank the 25 sponsors for their great support and also all of the volunteers who will help make everything go smoothly!”
Major sponsors for the 2015 Yellow Bass Bonanza include Clam, Mason City Power Sports, Truck Specialties, Titan Pro, FCIS Insurance, and Kabrick Distributing of Mason City.
Rules and entry forms can be downloaded from the Kevan Pauls Guide Service website: www.paulsfishingguide.com or call Paul at (641) 529-2359 or Scholl at (641) 512-0165.