By Steve Weisman
Each year the Iowa Great Lakes Fishing Club (IGLFC) holds an early spring fishing seminar at the Hap Ketelsen Center in Everly. This year’s seminar, which will be held on Friday, March 13, will feature Ted Takasaki, Hall of Fame professional angler and a widely renowned speaker.
Doors open at 6 p.m. with a meal followed by the seminar at 7 p.m. The evening is free to all IGFC members and $10 for non-club members.
According to Terry Thomsen, vice president of the IGLFC, “We are excited to have Ted Takasaki give a presentation for the IGLFC. The club is about education, and what better way to learn more about fishing tactics than from a highly acclaimed fisherman.”
Takasaki is a household name for people that have followed the professional walleye tournament circuits. He has won multiple tournaments on the Professional Walleye Tournament and is one of the top competitors on the National Walleye Tour.
He still holds the all-time tournament record for a one-day limit of five walleyes, which weighed an incredible 53.2 pounds.
From 1999 to 2008, Ted was the President of Lindy Fishing Tackle, one of the nation’s largest freshwater fishing tackle manufacturers. During that time, the company doubled revenue and quadrupled profit under his leadership.
In a phone interview, Takasaki said, “It’s like coming home. I caught my first walleye on West Okoboji in 1982 just after graduating from college. I actually caught my first musky, a 51-incher on Big Spirit four years later. I remember going in to White Oaks Bait Shop and just sitting around listening to the fishing stories.”
Takasaki’s seminar will feature walleye tactics, of course, and tie back to his days with Jim McDonnell, The Fishing Professor, and Perry Parks on the Iowa Great Lakes. A main part of the seminar will be spent on targeting weed walleyes using spinner rigs and night crawlers.
“I think this is going to be a great evening. This is just one of many opportunities we offer for club members,” adds Thomsen.
IGLFC is all about protecting these natural resources, while at the same time having fun doing it. It began nearly 45 years ago, spearheaded by Jim McDonnell, the Fishing Professor. “We now have a membership of close to 300 members, and we are always looking for more people to join,” notes Thomsen.
Membership is open to anybody who has a love for the natural resources here in northwest Iowa. Club membership is $20 per family and offers a lot for members.
“Our club sponsors two seminars each year. One seminar is in March and the other is in November. The seminar in March usually concerns fishing techniques and hotspots in our 4-5 state area and new trends in equipment. November’s seminar has our area DNR biologists giving an update on what is going on in our local lakes,” adds Thomsen.
Plans are also underway for the annual IGLFC Spring Swap (fishing equipment) to be held in April. More information will be coming in March.
Each year the IGLFC holds an annual Kid’s Fishing Clinic at Stolley’s Park in Spencer, IA. This is open to area kids of all ages and their parents. Club members give demonstrations on fish cleaning, knot tying, casting, boating safety, fish identification, and other aspects of the fishing experience. There is an hour-long fishing tournament with prizes for the biggest fish of various species. Next comes a drawing for prizes and a hot dog dinner. Every kid goes home a winner with each one receiving a bag of fishing tackle.
In June, a Club Rendezvous is held at the Iowa Great Lakes with a supper at McKeens Pub in Spirit Lake after the day’s fishing. Then in late September, the club holds its IGLFC Fall Tournament with a potluck to follow.
The IGLFC also sponsors a $500 scholarship each year for a student planning to enter a program dealing with the outdoor environment. This scholarship is in memory of Jim McDonnell, the Fishing Professor.
“The IGLFC has also been instrumental in the Emerson Bay fish cleaning station, supporting the legislation approved for the 25 daily panfish limit and many other projects benefiting our natural resources,” says Thomsen.
Again, the $20 membership is an easy way to get to know people, gain and share fishing knowledge and help support the betterment of our natural resources. If you would like to become a member, contact Kendall Mead (712) 262-7084 or Terry Thomsen (712) 260-3382.