By Steve Weisman
Each February the Iowa Great Lakes Fishing Club (IGLFC) hosts a fishing seminar opportunity for both IGLFC members and non-members alike. This year’s seminar will take place on Thursday, February 11 at the Hap Ketelsen Community Center in Everly and will features Iowa native and accomplished tournament angler Tommy Skarlis as guest speaker.
According to IGLFC Vice President, Terry Thomsen, “The seminar is free for iGLFC members, while the cost for non-members will be $10. We will have IGLFC family memberships to the club for sale at the door that night for $20.”
Doors will open at 6 p.m. with the seminar beginning at 7 p.m. The club will be serving burgers and chips for a meal. Following the seminar, the IGLFC will raffle off a nice selection of fishing gear.
Thomsen says, “We are excited to bring Tommy Skarlis here. He will actually give two presentations, one on crappie fishing and one on walleye fishing.”
In a recent phone interview with Skarlis, he expressed his excitement of being able to speak to the IGLFC. “It’s going to be a lot of fun talking to anglers of northwest Iowa. I know that they are hardcore anglers, so I’ll be able to go into more specifics and detail than I would be able to at other seminars. After each presentation, there will be a question and answer period with a break in between presentations.”
For Skarlis, it’s always been about the outdoors, and he got hooked on fishing at age three. Skarlis began his tournament fishing career in 1991 and never looked back. He has been a consistent top placer and winner of many walleye tournaments. At the same time, Skarlis has also been a top ranked angler on the crappie tournament trail. In 2013, Tommy Skarlis (along with fishing partner Kyle Steinfeldt) won the most prestigious title in crappie fishing – the Crappie Masters National Championship in Grenada Mississippi!
All totaled, Skarlis has qualified for 40 national championships, is one of the hottest tourney sticks in the history of competitive fishing and was named one of the “Top Ten Anglers on the Planet” by Outdoor Life.
Sponsors for the event include Northwest Bank, Farmer’s Trust and Savings Bank, Community State Bank and State Bank. For more information, contact Gary Biederman at (712) 363-3079 or Terry Thomsen at (712) 260-3382.
About the IGLFC
IGLFC is an organization that is all about protecting our natural resources, while at the same time having fun doing it. Thomsen says, “Membership is open to anybody who has a love for the natural resources here in northwest Iowa. As mentioned earlier, club membership is $20 per family and offers a lot for members. Our club sponsors two seminars each year, one in the fall and one in the spring. The seminar in the spring 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.”
Each spring 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 addition, the club offers informal club fishing tournaments in June and September, while an annual Christmas party is held in December for all members. It also has a scholarship program in memory of Jim McDonnell, the Fishing Professor.