September 18, 2014 - 2:12 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

Northwest

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake.  Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge, and pipeline.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish have still been biting fairly good.   Use Sonny’s dip bait and fish overcast days to increase chances of success.  White Bass – Fair: No update for white bass this week, but last week shore anglers were picking up white bass with blue and silver 1/4 ounce Kastmasters and Mepps spinners.  Walleye – Slow: Anglers are still catching some walleye trolling, but they’re mostly slot fish.

Big Spirit Lake

Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouth should start hitting on jerk baits and trolled crankbaits worked near rock piles. Walleye anglers are likely to come across a few of these hard fighters.  Crappie – Fair: Anglers fishing from piers, docks and by boat near bull rush beds have been picking up a few small crappies using small jigs with plastic twister tails. Slip bobbers and a hook tipped with a small shiner should also work for folks. Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers are starting to get into a bunch of six-inch perch. Very few are angler acceptable size yet, but folks are having fun with them until they grow up a bit more. Walleye – Fair: Cooler daytime and overnight temperatures have dropped the water temperature on Big Spirit. This shift has started to get fish more active. Recent anglers pulling crankbaits near weed lines and across rocky points have been pulling a number of nice walleyes. The catch is still dominated by slot fish but a few keepers and lots of fun fishing is in store for folks hitting the water.

East Okoboji Lake

Yellow Perch – Good: Pilkies tipped with red worms worked near rocky points have been producing a few nice perch. Be prepared to sort some small ones, but anglers can count on keeping some for the freezer. Walleye – Fair: Action has started to pick up with the cooler temperatures in the area. Anglers with the best success are working deeper areas with both live bait rigs and deep running crank baits. Trolling across the deep ends of structure is producing a few nice keepers.  Yellow Bass – Good: Deep weed lines and structures are providing the best action to anglers who use small jigs tipped with live bait.

West Okoboji Lake

Smallmouth Bass – Fair: The cooler temperatures should have smallmouth moving around rocky points. Troll crankbaits or cast jerk baits to target these fish.  Yellow Perch – Fair: Pilkies tipped with red worms or wigglers will get you some action on yellow perch right now. Work the openings in the weed beds with a slip bobber to target some nice keepers.  Walleye – Fair: Cooler temperatures has increased catch rates recently. Crankbaits trolled near outside weed edges and across rocky points have been producing some nice fish. Jigs tipped with shiners drifted across structure will also get you some hook ups.  Yellow Bass – Good: Small jigs tipped with wigglers will get you some nice action.

Iowa DNRThe Iowa deer hunting tradition will be passed on to about 10,000 youths who are participating in the youth deer hunting season, which opens on Sept. 20. This season provides an opportunity to teach deer hunting, wildlife behavior, and safe hunting practices to resident youths while they are under the watchful eye of a licensed adult.

For many young hunters, this will be their first experience hunting deer, and mentors are encouraged to take the needs of the new hunter into account when planning the hunt.

The goal of the hunt should be a positive, enjoyable, and ethical experience, and harvesting a deer should be considered a bonus, not define the success of the hunt.

The youth season coincides with the disabled hunter deer season for hunters who meet certain criteria.  Each season runs September 20 through October 5.

Each youth must be under direct supervision of an adult mentor, with a valid license and habitat fee (if required).  The youth license is valid statewide.

An unfilled youth season tag may be used during the early or late muzzleloader season or one of the two shotgun seasons only. That youth must follow all other rules specified for each season. However party hunting with a youth tag is not allowed. A deer must be harvested by the youth with the tag. However, that tag holder may obtain deer tags for other season, just as any other hunter can do.

The youth deer season usually has mild temperatures and biting insects.  Hunters should be prepared in case they youth harvests a deer by bringing bags of ice to cool the deer cavity and by having a locker that can accept the deer for processing.  Last year, more than 10,000 youth hunters reported harvesting 3,300 deer and nearly 300 disabled hunters reported harvesting 120 deer.

All deer taken must be reported using the harvest reporting system by midnight the day after the deer is recovered. Harvest reporting is a very important part of the deer management program in Iowa, playing a vital role in managing deer populations and hunting opportunities.  Hunters can report their deer on the DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov, by calling the toll free reporting number 1-800-771-4692, or at any license vendor.

September 16, 2014 - 12:10 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRWith Iowa’s bow season just days away, hunters are in the final stages of preparation; adjusting tree stand locations, cutting shooting lanes, or ‘just’ scouting those early season deer habits.

Tops in that preparation? Staying safe above the ground. Talking with bow hunters, it’s surprising how many have slipped, fallen or had to ‘jump’ the last few feet to the ground. Add to that, the fact that Iowa’s two hunting fatalities in the last two seasons involved not firearms, but bow hunters falling. With upwards of 50,000 of them in Iowa, it is a hazard that can be eliminated with a little forward thinking.

To play it safe, consider a couple staples.

“Bring friends when you install your tree stand,” urges Dave Giese, Hawkeye Wildlife Area shooting range officer in Johnson County. He recently coordinated an Archery Safety Day there. “Once up, make sure it gets anchored. Have a harness to raise your equipment. Don’t carry your bow up or down.”

Once on stand—your first move should be to secure your safety harness to the tree.

“A safety harness is an absolute necessity. You are just asking to fall out of a tree if you don’t have one,” warns Mark Powers, of Cedar Rapids, a 25-year bowhunter. “There are just too many situations where you’re moving your feet, moving your body, changing things around. You have to be safe.”

Basically, follow the ‘three point rule.’ Your hands are two points of contact. Your feet are two more. To safely climb, you need three points of contact.

Purchase a stand made by a supporting member company of the Treestand Manufacturers of America (TMA), and it includes a basic harness. In fact, safety harnesses—over each shoulder and adjusted at both thighs—are overshadowed now by safety jackets; easier to put on and which spread the pressure, should you fall. Some have a telescoping-type strap between you and the tree, which lessens fall impact or even lowers you to the ground.

“It’s the concept of ‘where are you most vulnerable?’ As bow hunting has become more popular, there are more products. Many are just, ‘Hey, this would solve that problem,’ thought up by bowhunters themselves,” explains Roger Mildenstein, longtime bowhunter and owner of Fin & Feather Outdoor Store in Iowa City. Among more recent safety features is a pair of heavy-duty plastic sleeves, over anchor spikes. By sliding the legs of a tree stand ladder into them, it creates a ground-based ‘hinge’ to easily set the stand into place.

Other products range from a lineman’s type belt, allowing you to lean back with your hands free to attach and climb sectional ladders…or a hoist to hold a stand in place as you strap it in. They become that ‘third point’ of contact; allowing you to tend to the details, when on high.

Probably the best safety advice? Communicate.

“Plan ahead. Let someone know where you are; what time you expect to be home, what stand you will be in that day,” urges Giese.  “If you do end up with an issue, people have an idea of where to look for you.”

 Youth, Disabled Hunter Seasons

Saturday will find thousands of young hunters in stands or posted along field edges or funnel points in the woods. As Iowa’s Youth Deer hunting season opens, a bow, shotgun or muzzleloader can be used…with the requirements specific to the season, such as blaze orange clothing. Last year, about 10,000 young hunters took part.

Each must be under direct supervision of an adult mentor, with a valid license and habitat fee (if required).  The youth license is valid statewide. Additionally, a couple hundred disabled hunters will be active across Iowa. Each season runs September 20 through October 5.

An unfilled youth season tag may be used during the early or late muzzleloader season or one of the two shotgun seasons ONLY. That youth must follow all other rules specified for each season. However party hunting with a youth tag is not allowed. A deer must be harvested by the youth with the tag. However, that tag holder may obtain deer tags for other season, just as any other hunter can do.

 

September 11, 2014 - 2:39 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

Northwest

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake.  Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge, and pipeline.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish have still been biting fairly good.  Use Sonny’s dip bait and fish overcast days to increase chances of success.  White Bass – Fair: No update for white bass this week, but last week shore anglers were picking up white bass with blue and silver 1/4 ounce Kastmasters and Mepps spinners.  Walleye – Fair: Fewer anglers have been out this week, but some walleye are still being caught on crankbaits.  Try #6 Shad Raps and troll the dredge cuts.

Big Spirit Lake

Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouth should start hitting on jerk baits and trolled crankbaits worked near rock piles. Walleye anglers are likely to come across a few of these hard fighters.  Crappie – Fair: Anglers fishing from piers and docks as well as by boat near bull rush beds have been picking up a few small crappies using small jigs with plastic twister tails. Slip bobbers with a hook tipped with a small shiner should also work for folks.  Yellow Perch – Fair: Anglers are starting to get into a bunch of six-inch perch in the past week or so. Very few are angler acceptable size yet, but folks are having fun with them until they grow up a bit more.  Walleye – Fair: Cooler daytime and overnight temperatures have started to drop the water temperature on Big Spirit. This shift has started to get fish more active. Recent anglers pulling crank baits near weed lines and across rocky points have been pulling a number of nice walleyes. The catch is still dominated by slot fish but a few keepers and lots of fun fishing is in store for folks hitting the water.

East Okoboji Lake

Channel Catfish – Good: Cut bait, chicken livers, and stink bait presented in the evenings and overnight hours is producing a number of nice aggressive catfish for anglers.  Bluegill – Fair: Small ice jigs tipped with red worms or other live bait when presented near weed lines is producing some angler acceptable fish right now. Early morning seems to be when most folks are fishing these spots.  Yellow Perch – Good: Pilkies tipped with red worms worked near rocky points have been producing a few nice perch. Be prepared to sort some small ones, but anglers can count on keeping some for the freezer. Walleye – Fair: Action has started to pick up in the last week or so with the cooler temperatures in the area. Anglers with the best success are working deeper areas with both live bait rigs and deep running crankbaits. Trolling across the deep ends of structure is producing a few nice keepers.  Yellow Bass – Good: Deep weed lines and structures are providing the best action to anglers who use small jigs tipped with live bait.

West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill – Good: Tiny jigs tipped with live bait have been producing a few keepers when worked near the edges of weed beds. The bite seems to be best at first light.  Smallmouth Bass – Fair: The cooler temperatures should have smallmouth moving around rocky points. Troll crank baits or cast jerk baits to target these fish. Yellow Perch – Fair: Fishing has slowed a bit but a few perch are still being harvested. Smaller fish need to be sorted out, but red worms tipping a pilkie have been producing some nice action for anglers. Walleye – Fair: Cooler temperatures have fish a bit more active. Live bait and crankbaits are producing a few keepers around the rocky points. First/last light seem to be doing the best for anglers.  Yellow Bass – Good: Small jigs tipped with wigglers will get you some nice action.

September 5, 2014 - 10:04 pm - Posted in Sports

west lyon wildcat trackPower running and time consuming drives were the keys for West Lyon as they evened their season record at 1-1 with a 28-0 win over Sheldon at Orab Field Friday night. With the loss the Orabs enter district play next Friday with a 1-1 record following a pair of non-district games.

On their first possession the Wildcats went 65 yards with Chase Grotewold going the final 14 yards for the score. Jaden Snyder added the extra point and West Lyon had the lead 7-0 with 6:56 left in the first quarter.

A fumble recovery late in the first quarter at the Sheldon 28 yard line was turned into a 3 yard Vaughn Moser touchdown run early in the second quarter. Snyder’s kick was good and the lead was 14-0 with 11:56 to go in the first half and that would be the score at intermission.

Late in the third quarter West Lyon drove 58 yards for a touchdown. Grotewold went in for his second score of the night from 33 yard out. Snyder’s extra point made it 21-0 Wildcats with 2:57 to play in the third quarter.

After stopping Sheldon on downs at their own 4 yard line West Lyon went 96 yards the other way on a multiple play time consuming drive capped by a 2 yard run by fullback Dylan Huyser with 2:12 left in the ballgame. Snyder remained perfect on extra point attempts to make the final score 28-0 in favor of West Lyon.

Both West Lyon and Sheldon enter district play at 1-1 on the year.  West Lyon will be at Sibley Ocheyedan to go against the Generals as district play begins for most Iowa teams. Sheldon travels to Okoboji to take on the Pioneers.

September 4, 2014 - 2:45 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

Northwest

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake.  Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge, and pipeline.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfishing has been hit or miss.  Use Sonny’s dip bait and fish overcast days to increase chances of success.  White Bass – Fair: Shore anglers have been picking up white bass with blue and silver 1/4 ounce Kastmasters and Mepps spinners.  Some walleye are picked up while fishing for the white bass too.  Walleye – Fair: Anglers have been catching decent numbers of slot fish and even some over the slot.  Try trolling salmo hornet crankbaits or #6 shad raps around the dredge cuts.  The dredge cut between Stoney Point and the big island has been the best.  Early morning is the best time to go with the bite dropping off around mid morning.

Big Spirit Lake

Northern Pike – Fair: Anglers using spinner baits near weed edges have been catching a few harvestable size fish.  Crappie – Fair: Anglers fishing from piers and docks as well as by boat near bull rush beds have been picking up a few small crappies using small jigs with plastic twister tails.  Walleye – Slow: Cooler daytime and overnight temperatures have started to drop the water temperature on Big Spirit. This shift should start to get fish more active. Anglers hoping to target fall mode walleyes should use live bait jigged or drifted near rocky points in the early morning and evening hours.

East Okoboji Lake

Channel Catfish – Good: Cut bait, chicken livers, and stink bait presented in the evenings and overnight hours is producing a number of nice aggressive catfish for anglers.  Bluegill – Fair: Small ice jigs tipped with red worms or other live bait when presented near weed lines is producing some angler acceptable fish right now. Early morning seems to be when most folks are fishing these spots.  Yellow Perch – Good: Pilkies tipped with red worms worked near rocky points have been producing a few nice perch. Be prepared to sort some small ones, but anglers can count on keeping some for the freezer.  Walleye – Fair: Action has started to pick up in the last week or so with the cooler temperatures in the area. Anglers with the best success are working deeper areas with both live bait rigs and deep running crank baits. Trolling across the deep ends of structure is producing a few nice keepers. Make sure to slow your presentation way down when using live bait, fish have been hitting very softly.  Yellow Bass – Good: Deep weed lines and structures are providing the best action to anglers who use small jigs tipped with live bait.

West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill – Good: Tiny jigs tipped with live bait have been producing a few keepers when worked near the edges of weed beds. The bite seems to be best at first light.  Yellow Perch – Good: Smaller fish need to be sorted out, but red worms tipping a pilkie have been producing some nice action for anglers.  Walleye – Fair: Cooler temperatures have fish a bit more active. Live bait and crankbaits are producing a few keepers around the rocky points. First/last light seem to be doing the best for anglers.  Yellow Bass – Good: Small jigs tipped with wigglers will get you some nice action.

August 28, 2014 - 2:40 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

Northwest

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake.  Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge, and pipeline.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Try shrimp, dip bait or cut bait.  Walleye – Fair: Some keepers and slot fish are being caught trolling cranks.

Big Spirit Lake

Northern Pike – Fair: Anglers using spinner baits near weed edges have been catching a few harvestable size fish.  Largemouth Bass – Fair: Soft plastics and spinner baits worked near vertical structures should produce a few decent bass right now.  Walleye – Slow: Harvest has been slow but a few anglers are having good success with live bait presented VERY slowly. Let the action of your leech or shiner bring in the fish, don’t be drag racing them around the lake.

East Okoboji Lake

Channel Catfish – Good: Cut bait, chicken livers, and stink bait presented in the evenings and overnight hours is producing a number of nice aggressive catfish for anglers. Bluegill – Fair: Small ice jigs tipped with red worms or other live bait when presented near weed lines is producing some angler acceptable fish right now. Early morning seems to be when most folks are fishing these spots.  Yellow Perch – Fair: Pilkies tipped with red worms worked near rocky points have been producing a few nice perch. Be prepared to sort some small ones, but anglers can count on keeping some for the freezer.  Walleye – Fair: Anglers with the best success are working deeper areas with both live bait rigs and deep running crank baits. Trolling across the deep ends of structure is producing a few nice keepers. Make sure to slow your presentation way down when using live bait, fish have been hitting very softly.  Yellow Bass – Good: Deep weed lines and structures are providing the best action to anglers who use small jigs tipped with live bait.

West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill – Good: Tiny jigs tipped with live bait have been producing a few keepers when worked near the edges of weed beds. The bite seems to be best at first light.  Yellow Perch – Good: Smaller fish need to be sorted out, but red worms tipping a pilkie have been producing some nice action for anglers.  Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes are being harvested from rocky points using leeches and crawler rigs presented slowly. Lots of folks have been fishing these areas at first light until 9 a.m. or so.  Yellow Bass – Good: Small jigs tipped with wigglers will get you some nice action.

August 25, 2014 - 1:06 pm - Posted in Sports

Tyler StarrFormer Central Lyon George Little Rock and University of South Dakota Football standout Tyler Starr has made it through the first round of cuts with the Atlanta Falcons. NFL rosters need to be down to 75 by the end of the day Tuesday. Starr was a 7th round draft pick in this past spring’s draft.

According to their official website the Falcons waived 10 players, placed Mike Johnson and Marquis Spruill on injured reserve and placed Drew Davis and Zeke Motta on PUP on Sunday.

The Atlanta Falcons announced Monday that they have waived defensive end Theo Agnew, linebacker Brendan Daley, linebacker Darin Drakeford, safety Devonta Glover-Wright, wide receiver Julian Jones, quarterback Jeff Mathews, linebacker Walker May, running back Jerome Smith, wide receiver Tramaine Thompson, and tight end Brian Wozniak. The club also placed offensive lineman Mike Johnson and linebacker Marquis Spruill on injured reserve, in addition to placing wide receiver Drew Davis and safety Zeke Motta on the Physically Unable to Perform list, and released safety Tyrell Johnson.

The Falcons roster now sits at 75 players. As part of the NFL’s mandatory roster cut down, Atlanta will have to trim its roster to 53 players by August 30 and may establish a 10-player practice squad beginning on August 31.
Atlanta was selected as the feature team for this year’s edition of “Hard Knocks” on HBO. The program selects one team in the NFL and follows their training camp experience as they get ready for the upcoming season.

August 21, 2014 - 3:27 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

Northwest

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake.  Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge, and pipeline.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Try shrimp, dip bait, or cut bait. Walleye – Fair: Some keepers and slot fish are being caught trolling cranks.

Big Spirit Lake

Northern Pike – Fair: Anglers using spinner baits near weed edges have been catching a few harvestable size fish.  Largemouth Bass – Fair: Soft plastics and spinner baits worked near vertical structures should produce a few decent bass right now.  Walleye – Slow: The best action has been on live bait presented very slowly near weed lines and rocky points. Overnight anglers using leeches under a lighted slip bobber have been finding a few 16 inchers shallow.  Muskellunge – Good: Quite a few nice muskies have been caught on Big Spirit the past couple weeks.

East Okoboji Lake

Channel Catfish – Good: Cut bait, chicken livers, and stink bait presented in the evenings and overnight is producing a number of nice aggressive catfish. Bluegill – Fair: Small ice jigs tipped with red worms or other live bait when presented near weed lines is producing some angler acceptable fish. Early morning seems to be when most are fishing these spots.  Yellow Perch – Fair: Pilkies tipped with red worms worked near rocky points have been producing a few nice perch. Be prepared to sort some small ones, but anglers can count on keeping some for the freezer.  Walleye – Fair: Anglers with the best success are working deeper areas with both live bait rigs and deep running crankbaits. Trolling across the deep ends of structure is producing a few nice keepers.  Yellow Bass – Good: Deep weed lines and structures are providing the best action to anglers who use small jigs tipped with live bait.

West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill – Good: Tiny jigs tipped with live bait have been producing a few keepers when worked near the edges of weed beds. The bite seems to be best at first light.  Yellow Perch – Good: Fishing has slowed a little bit but anglers are still catching quite a few perch by working deep weed lines and rocky structures with live bait.  Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes are being harvested from rocky points using leeches and crawler rigs presented slowly. Lots of folks have been fishing these areas at first light until 9 a.m. or so.  Yellow Bass – Good: Small jigs tipped with wigglers will get you some nice action.

Rock Rapids, IA – Alpha Omega Academy, an online distance learning program for grades K-12, congratulates Assistant Principal Tim De Jong on his induction into the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) Hall of Fame last week in the Quad Cities.
De Jong played in eight NAFA World Series between 2002 and 2012. During his time with the Sioux Falls Sox, his team won the NAFA World Series AA Championship in 2007, and placed second and third in the same division in 2009 and 2010.

In addition to the team accomplishments, De Jong was named Most Valuable Player in 2007. He’s also been selected four times to the First Team, once to the Second Team, and been named an All-World performer.

“It is a tremendous honor to be selected for the NAFA Hall of Fame,” De Jong said. “I have been blessed to play on some great teams with great teammates. Fastpitch softball is just a great sport. Over the years I have met some great ball players and people from all over the world.”

De Jong set records on his high school and college baseball teams. Following college, De Jong channeled his passion into coaching while continuing to play. He led the Western Christian High School girls’ softball team to the Iowa regional finals twice in his three years as head coach. He also served as an assistant coach at the University of Sioux Falls during the 2011-2012 season.

De Jong joined the Alpha Omega Academy staff in 2013. He served as an academic advisor and lead education coordinator before taking on the role of assistant principal, where he uses his athletic and coaching background to help students develop academically and as individuals.

“I enjoy watching students grow and mature as people,” De Jong said. “I love seeing their sense of accomplishment when completing a challenge.”