Catch Fish & Win Prize Money
BY: RACHEL WUMKES
Fishing is one of those fun, outdoor activities that anyone can enjoy. While serious anglers may disagree, even the most unskilled person can throw in a line and come away with a fish. Fishing in Clear Lake, however, offers an added element of excitement. This is because the Clear Lake Fishing Club has dozens of tagged fish in Clear Lake.
What is a tagged fish, you ask?
Well, it’s exactly as it sounds. A select number of walleyes are netted, tagged, and released every spring by the Department of Natural Resources. The tags for each season are good until March 31st of the following year.
When reeling in your line, imagine the excitement of seeing a small, numbered tube attached to your catch!
The tag will be obvious, and right next to the fish’s dorsal fin. Do not attempt to remove the tag. Call Clear Lake Bait & Tackle at (641) 231-8025 or throw that baby in a pail of water and take it over to the store. They will verify whether or not you’ve caught a current tagged fish. If it’s a winner, they’ll snap a photo of you with the fish and hand over your prize money on the spot!
According to their website, the Clear Lake Fishing Club “was formed as a non-profit organization to promote the enjoyment and the art of fishing in North Central Iowa. The club maintains high standards of fishing ethics and insists its members comply with all state and local fishing regulations. The club is dedicated to service in the community and supports several fishing related projects thereby enhancing the quality of fishing in Clear Lake for all.”
Not only do they operate the largest walleye fishing tournament in Iowa, but they came up with the tagged fish program.
They partner with local businesses and organizations who sponsor the fish. One lucky angler might catch the grand champion of them all – the $1000 walleye sponsored by Harrison Truck Center in memory of Stan Harrison. There are 25 additional walleyes worth $100 each.
The Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce is excited to sponsor the tagged fish program.
Tourism Director, Libbey Hohn, states, “We are proud to support the Clear Lake Fishing Club by sponsoring a tagged fish. The club does so much work to promote fishing here in Clear Lake, by hosting tournaments, providing fun and educational opportunities to young anglers, and making sure the lake remains one of the best fisheries in the Midwest. We encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the lake, who knows, you might just catch a tagged fish!”
The Center for Agriculture and Rural Development at Iowa State did a study in 2019 about the economic impact of fishing in Iowa. In Clear Lake alone, the estimated influence of fishing comes to almost $8million. Between buying bait & tackle, lodging, gas and restaurants, we’ve been fortunate our fish population is so well maintained. It keeps anglers coming back for more!
People aged 16 and over will need a fishing license. Unless it’s June 2-4 which is “free fishing weekend” for Iowa residents. They can be obtained locally from these chamber members: Brothers Ace Hardware or Clear Lake Bait & Tackle. Or online at https://www.iowadnr.gov/fishing/buy-your-license.
The blog post is a great way to learn more about the fish population in Clear Lake. It is your full-service guide to help you snag the big one.
Or maybe a small one – but worth prize money!
Either way, open-water fishing season is here.
Tight lines, friends.