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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.

Spencer 6 each get at least 1 state win

DES MOINES — And then there was one.

Heading into day three — Friday — of the four-day IHSAA Boys State Wrestling Tournament, senior Connor Stickrod was the final Spencer grappler, among the six Tigers who qualified, in contention for a medal, needing just one more win on the consolation side of the 106-pound bracket to reach the medal round.

WIN & ADVANCE

SIOUX RAPIDS — Trailing by a basket to Manson-Northwest Weber after the first quarter, 15-13, Sioux Central rebounded nicely in Friday night’s Class 2A Region 5 semifinal, limiting the Cougars to 21 points in the final three quarters en route to a 61-36 victory. The win launched the 21-1 Rebels into the regional final against Twin Lakes Conference rival 14-8 Pocahontas Wednesday in Spencer. Game time is set for 7 p.m. with a state berth on the line.

Laker women earn hard fought road win

CRESTON — Iowa Lakes Lakers basketball earned a narrow win on the road at Southwestern Community College, 75-72, led by three players in double figures.

ILCC was led by Emma Kanz with 24 points, while Tayona Keys added 17 points and Jordyn Stokes finished with16.

The Lakers were 26-32 from the free-throw line.

Tigers best Algona, Sioux City North

Spencer’s boys basketball team will enter postseason play Monday night as the No. 6 seed in Class 3A Substate 2 when they travel to No. 3 seed Humboldt for a Monday night quarterfinal matchup. The two teams have yet to play this year, with their last meeting coming in 2022 Class 3A Substate 1 Final. The 21-3 Wildcats would best the Karter Petzenhauser led 20-4 Tigers, 63-55.

Young Spencer team loses in quarters

SIOUX CENTER — Spencer’s girls would battle in the first and third quarters but it wasn’t enough to overcome a potent attack in Sioux County — the land of the giants — as the Tigers would be handed its 21st loss of the year, ending the 2023-24 campaign at the hands of the Sioux Center Warriors, 64-39. The end was similar to a Dec. 7 meeting this year where the Warriors recorded a 67-33 victory.

SC girls dominate home quarterfinal

SIOUX RAPIDS — After a first round bye, the top-seeded team in Class 2A Region 5, Sioux Central hosted, and defeating opening round winner Carroll Kuemper, 62-27, Monday night in the Class 2A. The Rebels, who picked up their 20th win of the year, will host Manson-Northwest Webster, 12-11 coming into the game, at 7 p.m. Friday.

Rebels fall in postseason road opener

CHEROKEE — The Braves took advantage of their home court Monday night when Sioux Central came to town for its regular season finale. Cherokee, the No. 4 seed, connected on better than 50% of their shots from the field on their familiar rims, while defensively limiting the No. 5 Rebels to 28% for the game. Those numbers would result in a 73-41 win for the home team.

Pack the gym: Wrestlers recognized for state achievements

Spencer students, staff and wrestling fans came together in the Spencer Middle School gym Monday for a dual purpose, to welcome home the six Spencer girls who represented the purple and gold in Coralville at the IGHSAU Girls State Meet. (Above) Three-time, 235-pound champion Olivia Huckfeltt, 190-pound competitor Kaylee Nachtigal; 140-pound runner-up Shaylee Sutherland, 130-pound competitor Kyiah Logan, 125-pound competitor Breanna Johnson and 100-pound eighth place medalist Kiara Ruiz.

Make it 17 straight

ESTHERVILLE — The 11th-ranked Iowa Lakes men’s basketball team have won seven straight, including 10 of the last 11 dating back to Jan. 10, moving to 21-5 overall and 11-3 in Iowa Community College Athletic Conference play following a 94-83 win over Iowa Central. Among the ILCC wins, they stopped some top 10 programs.

6 Tigers headed to ‘The Well’

FORT DODGE — The Spencer Tigers will be represented by six wrestlers when the ISHAA Wrestling Tournament gets underway Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. As a team, the Tigers placed fourth in the team standings.

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