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Outdoors: Plastic baits in cold water

It was about this time of year ten years ago when a friend and I made a plan to go fishing. Walleyes would be the target. We would meet at the boat ramp. I asked if I should pick up some minnows.

My friend said that I could if I wanted to, but we probably wouldn’t need them. Since minnows had always been a big part of my walleye chasing, and since I resist change, I picked up a couple dozen minnows.

Outdoors: Taking a look at the ’23 pheasant opener

Well, the 2023 Iowa pheasant opener is in the books. With temps in the upper 20s on Saturday morning, it was quite a difference from the heat of the 2022 pheasant opener. Yes, it was cold, but after walking for a while and with the blood flowing, it wasn’t bad at all. Across northwest Iowa, however, late Saturday afternoon brought the first snowfall of the year. Anywhere from 1-4 inches fell and left anywhere from a dusting to several inches in the CRP and public hunting areas.

State Cross-Country Preview: Ready to run


Saturday, Oct. 28

• 2 p.m. — Class 3A Girls State Cross-Country Meet at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course, Fort Dodge.

• 3:30 p.m. — Class 3A Girls State Cross-Country Meet at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course, Fort Dodge.


Spencer coach Drew Schiltz on the Class 3A field

Lakers grab second win at SWCC

CRESTON — Iowa Lakes volleyball squad traveled to Creston to take on Southwestern and Highland, both of Kansas. They beat SWCC in four sets, and lost to Highland in three.

No. 2 Lakers advance to ICCAC championship

The No. 2 nationally-ranked Iowa Lakes mens soccer team hosted Marshalltown, Wednesday, in the semifinal round of ICCAC playoffs, winning 1-0. The first half saw a tightly contested battle, with the Lakers creating several quality chances, but failing to find the back of the net.

Virgo named Athlete of the Week

To close out the regular season, Philmour Virgo scored a goal in a 6-1 victory for the Lakers over Western Iowa Tech. The goal contributions didn't stop there, as in Iowa Lakes first match of Region 11 Tournament play, he scored another and provided the assist on another.

Lakers 5-game run ends with postseason loss

NORFOLK, Neb. — Iowa Lakes women’s five-game win streak ended Tuesday in Norfolk, Nebraska, against No. 5 ranked Northeast Community College in the Region 11 Tournament Semifinals.

Maria Vilhena would score on an assist from Laker teammate Faith Martin to give ILCC an early 1-0 advantage, but Northeast would add a pair of goals to lead 2-1 at the break. Neither team would alter the score in the second half.

Iowa Lakes men crack basketball top 10

ESTHERVILLE — The Iowa Lakes men's basketball team debuted at No. 10 in the 2023-24 Preseason National Junior College Athletic Association Men's Basketball Rankings. The Lakers are one of four Iowa Community College Athletic Conference teams ranked joining No. 8 Kirkwood, No. 9 DMACC and No. 17 Ellsworth. Defending National Champion Milwaukee Area Technical College is ranked No. 1.

6 Spencer Tiger dancers part of qualifying event

NEWTON — For the first time in its nearly 50-year history, the Iowa State Dance Team Association will hold a qualifying round for the state solo championships. On Oct. 27 and 28 more than 970 soloists from dance teams and color guards across the state will descend on Newton High School for the first-ever ISDTA State Solo Qualifier.

Carrillo runs wild

FORT DODGE — Adrian Carrillo left his mark on Dodger Stadium in Fort Dodge as he and his Spencer Tiger teammates rolled their hosts and sophomore Division 1 prospect 45-0 Friday night. Sending the seniors out in style, the effort concluded a three game win streak to conclude the season which saw the Tigers outpace their opponents, 175-6.

Tigerettes score first in 2 categories

SHELDON — The Spencer High School Tigerettes Dance Team attended Radiate Dance Summit at Sheldon High School, Saturday. The team received first place in the team pom category and first place in team kick. Their team routine also received third overall.

4 Rebel runners headed to Fort Dodge

ORANGE CITY — Sioux Central will send four Rebels to the Class 2A State Cross-Country Meet Saturday — two boys and two girls.

“We had a beautiful night to compete at Districts last night and had a bittersweet run,” Sioux Central coach Kelsie Miller said. “Linnea Bloom, Marley Madsen, Brayden Kramber and Lucos Wernimont all ran great races and placed in the top 15 of their races to qualify for state.”

Iowa Lakes move on to conference semis

Iowa Lakes hosted Dakota County, Sunday, for a quarterfinal matchup in the ICCAC playoffs, winning 4-0. The scoring started in the 13th minute when Keishon Clarke put the header away from a corner kick delivered by Keiji Sugiura. The Lakers continued to create chances throughout the first half but failed to convert again throughout the tightly packed Dakota County defense.

Outdoors: More than $3 million in REAP grants recently approved

The Natural Resource Commission of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources approved 22 Resource Enhancement and Protection grants during its October meeting. The grants totaled more than $3 million.

Established in 1989, the Resource Enhancement and Protection program has funded nearly $389 million for city, county and state park projects that have included water quality improvements, habitat protection, roadside prairies, historical development and conservation education.

Outdoors: Fall community trout stocking underway across the state

Eighteen lakes across Iowa are gearing up to receive trout this fall. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will release between 1,000 to 2,000 rainbow trout at each location as part of its cool weather trout program that brings trout to areas that cannot support them during the summer months.

Outdoors: Ice fishing open houses coming soon

How can an outdoor person get bored here in northwest Iowa? I mean right now we have hunting seasons going like crazy, the fall fishing is only getting better as the lake water temperatures fall. Oh, but that’s not all. Nope. Because the “pre-ice fishing craze” is just around the corner.

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