Fishing enthusiasts hit Lake Rathbun
Saturday afternoon fishing enthusiasts filled Lake Rathbun. Teams took to the water for the 2005 Bass Pro Shops CrappieMasters Team Tournament Trail. Local fishermen and women, plus those that follow the crappie tour around the country took part in the contest.
Teams launched their boats into the water at the Honey Creek State Park’s boat ramp. That location also served as the weigh in area. Fishermen say they were getting some great catches out on the lake. The top five teams split $20,000 in cash and prizes.
“We’ve got a lot of boats out there. All the guys are catching fish and as they say some of the fish have dust on them they are so close to the bank,” Ed Johnson, president & CEO of the Crappie Masters Team Tournament said.
The next tournament will be Red River at Bossier City, LA. That event is scheduled for June 11th.
The CrappieMasters Tour is not just fun for adults either. Even the youngest anglers were able to take part in Saturday’s competition.
“How many fish have you caught today?”
“Three,” Kaitlyn Batterson from Pleasant Hill, Iowa said.
“I’ve caught five fish so far,” Kyler Risher from Centerville said.
“I’ve caught about ten fish maybe,” Jack Clouse from Appanoose county said.
While fishing teams cruised around Lake Rathbun for crappie, younger enthusiasts stayed on the shore taking part in their own fishing derby.
“I’ve been using worms today,” Risher said.
“Just cast it out there a little ways and let it sit and they bite,” Clouse said.
“I keep on casting it and every spot i go i can’t catch anything,” Morgan Mussmann from Camanche, Iowa said.
The Dream Maker Kids in the Outdoors program is a way to get children excited about nature.
“Once they feel that tug, it’s an imprint on their minds, and they love fishing,” Johnson said.
The kids program works in coordination with the crappie tournament. It not only gets children involved at an early age, but it also let’s them meet new people, and spend quality time with their family.
“It’s fun to do stuff with them,” Mussmann said.
Crappie hunters were not the only fishing teams on Lake Rathbun Saturday. Some fishermen took the day for a little pre fishing to prepare for Sunday’s Grand National Walleye Cup Tour.
The walleye tour consists of seven different regions. Kirk Moe and his brother Eric are currently ranked 7th in the Iowa Region standings. Teams fish four preliminary rounds, and the top 30 go to a state tournament at Lake Okoboji. From there, 20 finalist will go to a national competition.
“It’s just awesome; it’s a rush to be out there when you hit that keeper walleye; it just gets your blood pumping, it’s awesome,” Kirk Moe said.
Take off for Sunday’s Grand National Walleye Cup Tour is scheduled for 7:00am. Weigh in is set for 3:00pm at Honey Creek State Park.
— Ben Lawson, reporting
To learn more about the Bass Pro Shops CrappieMasters Team Tournament Trail click here.
To learn more about the Grand National Walleye Cup Tour
KTVO – Kirksville,MO,USA