Spring is upon us and in IYFL fashion, our high school anglers were out supporting their community at Bass Pro Shops, Altoona. IYFL anglers have been assisting with the indoor bluegill pond for multiple years as young anglers from all over get a chance to catch a fish while visiting the store.
This year, four anglers assisted dozens and dozens of young anglers catch fish from the pond including a few "first fish" moments. Bass Pro Altoona and General Manager Jason Truman have been very supported of our programs and anglers since the IYFL began.
Anglers assisted both Saturday and Sunday at the event. We are thankful and proud of their willingness to support opportunities such as this and thankful for Bass Pro Shops continued support! Not a bad way to spend some weekend hours getting to talk fishing and of course shopping all the new tackle and equipment for the year!
High School angling duo, Grant and Evan traveled to the Lake of the Ozarks to compete in a Major League Fishing Open Event presented by Favorite Fishing Rods in October. The duo battled their way to a third place finish and a qualifying spot at Nationals!
The team launched as Boat 17 out of 53 high school boats. They spent their day targeting bait balls and the corners of docks with square bills and jigs. When their square bills were diving to deep, they switched it up. Evan stated, "We couldn't get them (fish) to focus on our baits rather than the hundreds of thousands of shad in the back of the pockets."
"We ended up leaving the cove even though there were still giant largies jumping all around us. We couldn't just sit there all day and try to get one hooked after the previous 2-3 hours of the morning." The team made a move to the cove right behind where they were staying, where they noticed in practice it was holding fish with less bait fish in the area.
The team brought four fish to the scales for 8 pounds, 12 ounces. With this bag, they qualified for nationals and brought home a third place finish at a national open. Evan and Grant shared, "All in all it was a fun experience. It's an absolutely gorgeous fishery and has lots of big and small bass. We're glad we got to make it down and even happier we pushed through and finished top three."
Congratulation to you both, we cannot wait to watch you at Nationals.
When the Abu Garcia Bassmaster High School Combine presented by Skeeter kicks off on Sept. 16, 100 gifted anglers from 22 states will have the opportunity to showcase their talents for a host of college coaches and earn college scholarships. The three-day event will be held on Wheeler Lake in Decatur, Alabama.
The inaugural High School Combine in 2021 generated more than $2.6 million in scholarship offers.
“Response to the High School Combine has been incredible,” said Glenn Cale, B.A.S.S. Nation tournament manager for the College, High School and Junior series. “The fact that high school anglers are traveling here from as far away as Minnesota, New Hampshire and Connecticut really speaks to the massive growth and appetite for high school and college bass fishing over the past few years.
IYFL high school angler Matthew traveled to Decatur to showcase his talents performing multiple tasks to show skill sets on the water and knowledge of the sport as a whole. After the first day, colleges have the opportunity to select anglers for a "second look" where they can further explore everything that angler has to offer and see if they would be the perfect fit for their fishing program.
Upon returning Matthew stated, "The Bassmaster 2022 Combine was amazing! It had some of the best and kindest people from across the country that shared the passion for fishing. The colleges were unbelievably kind and caring for our future and the sport of bass fishing. They gave me a chance to pursue my dream for way cheaper than I could've imagined. I would recommend anyone to go to this and just go out and have fun because even if you don't do the very best out of everyone in the competitions you can still get great deals and experience from it."
Photo Credits: Bassmaster.com
This dynamic duo traveled across the country to fish three of the four Bassmaster Junior National Opens in the 2022 season. Their first stop landed them at the Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, Florida in January, where unseasonably cold weather presented a challenge. The pair brought in three fish for 5 pounds, 4 ounces to land 12th place at their first national tournament. "The Bassmaster Opens really introduced me to a whole new world of bass fishing. It was a lot more competitive than my normal weekend tournaments," said Grant Nore.
"They represented the state of Iowa well, with true grit and perseverance on a tough day of fishing," said Emily Lewis, Vice President of the Iowa Youth Fishing League, "It was a great showing for the IYFL's first appearance on the national stage."
In April, the team traveled to Lake Norfork in Henderson, Arkansas for Stop #3 of the series. With a blown big motor in practice, the team regrouped and went to work. Thankfully, Grant's dad had brought their boat down to Arkansas, as well. On tournament day, the team caught a lot of fish, but they were just short of the minimum length requirement. Grant and Lane brought in two fish for 4 pounds, 3 ounces. This landed them 15th place in their division. "We are proud that the IYFL brought three junior teams and a high school team to this tournament. We love to see the sport growing in Iowa." said Emily Lewis.
On their final run at the opens, Grant and Lane had two goals, to bring in a five-fish limit and place in the top five in the junior division. They traveled to Saginaw Bay, Michigan in June to take their chance at achieving that goal. The duo had a great week prefishing the largest body of water each has ever fished. Tournament day provided some rough water on their 22-mile run from the river into the bay. The run paid off and the team brought in their limit of fish for 13 pounds, 1 ounce. Grant captured the tournament big bass with a 3 pound, 10 ounce largemouth. Lane Lewis shared, "Sitting in the hot seat made me really nervous. We knew we had a good bag, so we waited for other teams to weigh in." After all teams weighed in, the final difference between the first, second and third place teams was only 14 ounces. Grant and Lane placed third at Saginaw Bay.
Upon reflecting on their first national tournament series experience, Grant stated, "The tournaments really helped my skillset grow in many different ways. In Florida, you had to fish really slow. In Arkansas I had to learn how to fish ledges." Lane added, "You can expect some challenges, but the opens help you learn."
This team had an outstanding run in three national opens and placing in the top 15 in each. Congratulations to Lane and Grant! What an amazing accomplishment in your first year of opens.
Photo Credits: Kyle Jessie, Bassmaster Photographer
Bassmaster High School has selected two IYFL anglers to represent this year's 2022 Bassmaster High School All-State Fishing Team for Iowa! This is the second year in a row that both All-State members have come from the IYFL tournament rosters!
Nationally over 400 applicants entered with only 53 anglers selected to represent as the All-State Fishing Team. These anglers are selected to represent B.A.S.S., their home state, and their fishing programs. They may then be considered for the 2022 Bassmaster All-American Fishing Team.
We could not be prouder of the accomplishments, drive, and dedication that these two anglers have shown. Congratulations Kolby and Tyler!
2022 Bassmaster High School All-State Fishing Team for Iowa!