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Outdoors: Beardsley wins first place in photo contest

The results for the 14th Annual Keep Iowa Beautiful Photography Contest are in. Local resident Bill Beardsley won the Keep Iowa Beautiful Social Media Favorite Award. Entitled “Majestic Sunrise,” the photo captures the morning beauty of Big Spirit Lake. Judges noted: “Taken in Dickinson County, Iowa, this photo truly captures the beauty of our state.”

Outdoors: What’s my line for fishing?

It’s this time of year when people who fish gather in a variety of locations. It might be at a sportshow, maybe a fishing seminar, sometimes at a bait shop. The talk will start with current subjects like the Super Bowl, college basketball, families or almost anything else.

Eventually the conversation will turn to fishing. In late winter and early spring, fishing equipment will be a popular topic. One area that gets lots of attention is fishing line.

Outdoors: Ice Hole Festival leads to Recreational Ice Diving Certification

So, the weekend of Feb. 9-11, as the ice fishing season was pretty much drawing to an end on the Iowa Great Lakes, my son, who was fishing off Triboji on the north end of West Okoboji, told me about a bunch of people (ice fishermen?) off Pike’s Point.

My first thought was maybe a late perch bite, because my son said they appeared to be out in pretty deep water. However, he told me, “But, dad, they didn’t act like ice fishermen. They were all kind of bunched up in a group.”

Ticket punched for Des Moines

SPENCER — Sioux Central will enter the IGHSAU Class 2A State Tournament with a 22-1 mark and a No. 4 seed after blowing a close game open in the second half in the Region 5 final Wednesday night on a neutral floor in Spencer. The Rebels 51-32 victory against Pocahontas thrust them into a 8:30 p.m., Tuesday quarterfinal matchup with No. 5-seed Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont which finished the year 23-1.

Humboldt ends Spencer postseason hopes

HUMBOLDT — For the second straight time, Humboldt has eliminated the Spencer boys basketball team from Class 3A postseason play. After defeating the Tigers in the 2022 3A District Championship, the Wildcats bested the 2023-24 squad, Monday night at home, 81-65 in District 2 quarterfinal play, snapping Spencer’s two-game win streak to close out regular season play.

Laker women topple Marshalltown

The Iowa Lakes Laker women stopped Marshalltown at home by 18, 75-53, Wednesday.

The Lakers had three in double figures, led by Allo Wolff’s double-double, 18 points and 13 rebounds. Also contributing, Emma Kanz finished with 16 and Jordyn Stokes added 13 points.

The Lakers connected on 15-of-16 from the free-throw line.

The Tigers were led by Mia Sao-Martinez’s 21 points.

ILCC men back on winning track, down Dakota County

ESTHERVILLE — Following a one-point 60-59 loss to Southwestern College Saturday, Feb. 17, ending a seven-game win streak, the Iowa Lakes men’s basketball team bounced back Wednesday night with a 93-78 home victory over Dakota County to move to 22-6 overall on the season.

Everly Lions support Special Olympics swimmers

Paul Galm, with the Everly Lions Club, made a $500 donation Monday night to Katrina Howard, the swim coach for the Spencer Special Olympics swim team. (Photo submitted)

Outdoors: Register for Chronic Wasting Disease Ambassadors course in Woodbury County

Chronic Wasting Disease Ambassadors is a collaborative education program between the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach that seeks to help Iowans address the challenge of chronic wasting disease.

Registration is open for a course in March at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, in Woodbury County. Classes are scheduled for March 12, 19 and 26, from 6-8 p.m. The course is free and meals are provided at each meeting.

Outdoors: Water summary update — Statewide conditions improve

January’s above-normal snowfall has improved drought conditions across the state, according to the latest Water Summary Update.

January saw 1.97 inches of precipitation, more than twice the normal amount for the month. The state has received above-average precipitation in three of the last four months. Since October 2023 statewide precipitation has been 7.24 inches, or 106 percent of normal.

Outdoors: Plastic or live?

Those of us who have fished a long time have seen many changes and advancements in the equipment and the baits that we use when we’re trying to catch a fish. One of the changes that has affected many of us is the development of plastic baits and their place in the world of fishing. It wasn’t so long ago that many fishing guides or walleye tournament contestants, when they had to catch fish, were adamant that live bait was the ticket.

Outdoors: What’s it take to get a Master Angler award?

I am often asked what it takes to get a Master Angler award in the state of Iowa. My answer is usually, “Well, I’m not sure, but I think you can find it on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' website.”

Outdoors: As other seasons close, hunters focus on coyotes

Coyote hunting moves to center stage for an estimated 10,000 hunters, after most of Iowa’s other hunting seasons have now closed.

Outdoors: Virtual fishing tournament encourages Iowa walleye anglers to report their catches

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is partnering for a third year with MyCatch by Angler’s Atlas to conduct a statewide walleye fishing challenge starting March 30 through June 30.

This year’s walleye challenge has been expanded to other states across the Midwest and into Canada as part of a larger fisheries research project funded by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Outdoors: End of the season ice fishing

It seems like winter just started, and it’s already time to be planning a late season ice fishing trip. This year’s mild weather has made it come more quickly than usual.

Late season ice, February or March depending on where you live, is my favorite ice fishing season. The days are getting longer, the weather isn’t as cold, and the fish are hungry. Here’s how you can catch 'em.

Outdoors: National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic quickly approaching

The National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic is less than a month away. I know it sounds crazy, but with ice fishing coming to a grinding and watery halt, it’s time to look for something else, and to me, that event is the Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic set for March 1-3 at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Hours will be noon to 7 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

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