photocredit: Yellow Bass Bonanza
BY: RACHEL SMITH
Early to Bed.
Early to Rise.
Fish all Day.
Tell big Lies.
Clear Lake will be invaded this weekend. Fisherman, looking to win the big bucks and incredible prizes, will soon pull into town in droves. With their shacks, their poles, their fancy gadgets and gizmos, they’ll flock to McIntosh State Park, home of the Yellow Bass Bonanza.
Started in 2013, the Yellow Bass Bonanza has since become Iowa’s largest fishing tournament. The event is special because it’s not just any regular ice tournament, but family fun for all involved. The Yellow Bass Bonanza draws both novice and skilled angers from all over the Midwest.
Now, if you’re like me… **cough, cough – CLUELESS** you’re probably wondering what happens in a fishing tournament.
It could be because the Olympics begin today, but in my head an ice fishing tournament would consist of gigantic mountain men - obviously with full beards and flannel shirts – cutting a hole into the ice and then reaching in to grab the fish with their bare hands. The winner shall stand proudly on a pedestal made of ice and proclaim themselves the ‘GOAT’ of fishing.
Sometimes I wonder how my brain thinks of these things…
Anyway, it seems, after a bit of research, that I was way wrong.
I know… I am just as shocked as you about this.
In reality, fishing tournaments are serious business. These men and women spend countless hours preparing, researching and strategizing for this kind of event. The day before, they’ll hit the ice for some pre-fishing to get a feel for the lake and how the fish are biting. And if get into town and realize you forgot something – stop in to Clear Lake Bait & Tackle OR Dome Bait & Tackle in Ventura!
On Saturday night, fisherman galore will hit up the Surf Ballroom for the Ice Bash, a night of fellowship where they also go over rules, safety precautions of the tournament and any other pertinent information one might need before the main event. It’s a nice you don’t want to miss! Catered by the fantastic folks over at Louie’s Meats (YUM!), and there will be a comedian as well.
During the event, the almost 300 registered teams will fish, fish, fish! The goal is to catch 30 Yellow Bass (yes, only this type of fish… and yes, I had to look that up to be sure, too) with the most weight. Check out their Facebook page for a list of amazing sponsors, who donated some amazing prizes for the winners.
So welcome, anglers, to Clear Lake, and best of luck to you all!