Articles 2018-04-02T16:43:32+00:00
Ellsworth Community College

Low Water Catfish

Over the better part of the last decade low water has really not been an issue to deal with when catfishing, especially here in the North Country. The talk in most catfish circles is anglers wishing the water would go down to get a boat in or once they get a boat in “where are the channel catfish hiding.” Even I can only remember two occasions where low water was any kind of an issue over the past decade. Where do the catfish go in low water When river levels get down to normal or below normal water levels catching channel cats can be about as easy as it can be. From a boat you simply drive to a hole [...]

By | May 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Trolling Cranks for Paper Mouths

By Nick Johnson We troll for walleye; we troll for muskie, heck some of us even troll for channel catfish. But, whoever thinks of trolling for crappie? Trolling for crappies seems a little bit too aggressive to many of us but in fact it can be an extremely productive way to catch big slabs suspended in many of our Iowa lakes. The summer period is a time of diversity for crappie patterns and if you aren't finding the big boys and girls around timber or rock banks then it's time to put the electronics to work and troll for open water fish. Define Their Depth Finding the preferred depth of suspended fish is probably the most crucial piece of the [...]

By | May 18th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Best of Both Worlds

When Van Halen released their 1986 hit song “Best of Both Worlds”, I highly doubt they had fly fishing in mind. That’s unfortunate because my favorite fly fishing rig, the “hopper-dropper”, gives me exactly what they’re talking about in their song. It allows me to catch Northeast Iowa trout in the two worlds that their feeding habits exist. Two of the most effective methods for catching trout on the fly are dry fly fishing on the surface of the water and nymph fishing below the surface of the water. Each technique has its own merits and its own limitations. Combining these two techniques, as the hopper-dropper rig does, overcomes many of these limitations and combines all the positives of each. [...]

By | May 18th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Food Plots: Are They Necessary in Iowa?

I have often heard many deer hunters say that there is no reason why they should plant a food plot in Iowa. After all there is already plenty of food, with the over abundance of corn and soybean fields in our state. Half of that statement is true; the part about our state has a large amount of grain producing crops. The part about no reason to plant a food plot, well that is wrong in my opinion. We all know Iowa is arguably the best place to hunt whitetails in the nation and corn and soybeans are part of that reason. So why on earth would you ever want to plant a food plot in Iowa, since we already [...]

By | May 18th, 2018|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

5 Keys to Summer Muskies

By Tracy Crail The summer months bring with them a wide range of musky activity. There are many factors that dictate their feeding levels. Learning to identify them and maximizing your chances will put more fish in your boat. I have 5 key topics that I rely on in the summer months that put fish in my boat on a regular basis. WATER TEMPERATURE Muskies hit peak feeding in the summer when the water temperature gets to 70 degrees for the first time of the year and then stops and holds in the mid 70’s. This is known as the summer peak. It can last as short as a few days to as long as a few weeks. During that [...]

By | May 18th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments


Crappie and bluegill are by far one of the most sought after fish during the ice-fishing season. Chasing these feisty fish not only provide anglers with table fare for the evening meal but loads of fun for both young and old alike. Panfish can offer hours of on ice fun with fast action and bent ice rods. You can go anywhere in Iowa and find these fish, but there are a few standout fisheries that can produce some quality fish. WEST OKOBOJI It should come as no surprise to ice anglers that this lake will top the list as the location to chase after some of Iowa’s largest bluegill. Anglers often refer to these big gills as “bulls”, those big [...]

By | May 17th, 2018|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Beware The Nightmare

By Bruster Beaty As participants of the tremendous offerings afforded by the great outdoors, we are constantly seeking new adventures. I must admit, however, the most heartfelt nimrodial memories are those nurtured during my excursions to the lakes, woods, and streams within shooting distance of home. Be that as it may, there have often been times I’ve dreamed of venturing into the far corners of Mother Nature’s kingdom. These dreams have taken the form of hunting and fishing trips throughout North America. Many of you have, as well, found yourselves traveling to such exotic locales as the far North, our mountainous West, the arid lands of the Southwest, or possibly just a booked trip here in Iowa. Each of these [...]

By | May 17th, 2018|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Early Season Bow Hunting Mistakes

Bow season rolls around the same time every year, but it still catches many sportsmen under and ill prepared. It seems like if mistakes are going to be made, they’re more likely to happen early, than at any other point during the season. Getting busted, missing a duffed shot, not seeing deer, or coming down with a bad case of poison ivy can quickly turn exciting pre-season fantasies and expectations into a season of misery and heartbreak. Here are some early season bow hunting mistakes that are commonly made and some suggestions on how to avoid making them. Aerial map scouting I believe that the best way to learn the lay of the land and observe animal activities in an [...]

Don’t Overlook The Small Tracts

The story of David and goliath crossed my mind as I maneuvered through corn and tall grass toward the tree where my quarry awaits.  Three doves perched unsuspectingly in the weathered black locust on the northwest end of the one acre drainage creek.  As I inch closer, I am thankful that I have such an oasis not ten minutes from my small inner city apartment.  A 6’0” 217 pound man preparing to ambush a trio of birds whose combined mass is but a fraction of a pound makes me wonder how David felt as he headed towards what all others said to be suicide.  As I make my way within thirty yards of the birds, I notice one of them [...]

By | May 17th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Welcome to the new!

Welcome to the new Iowa Sportsman Website!  First off we apologize for the lengthy delay.  It was never our intention on shutting down the old site while working on the new site.  Long story short things basically blew up on the old site, leaving us scrambling to get the new site ready to launch. Nevertheless here we are,  a completely overhauled!   We have added a lot of new features and content that should enhance your overall experience on the site. We kept the good from the old site too and will continue to host a forums section, a much more enhanced version! It is important to note that this is a brand new website, we believe we have most issues [...]

By | May 9th, 2018|0 Comments
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