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  • AvatarCRIA1576
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    I should’ve added that the middle coon below Lake Panorama is intensively managed by the IADNR for smallmouth.  It is CPR only below the dam for some distance and an enormous amount of structure has been added to improve the fishery.  The side benefits are improved fishing for all species including walleyes.

    As you get further south, middle coon becomes a legitimate multi-species fishery.  In a single evening below the dam in Redfield, my buddies and I caught a mixed bag of eater channels and flatheads, slab crappies, white bass, bluegills, and walleyes.  Wherever you find gravel and rock mixed with access to deep water, you can really get into some good fishing.

    AvatarCRIA1576
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    Lake Panorama and Storm Lake are also known for consistent crankbait bites for cats.  Fire tiger, perch, and pretty much any other natural color will catch them.

    AvatarCRIA1576
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    Hey man, welcome to western IA.  The middle coon below and above Lake Panorama will support smaller jon boats (<16′) and outboards in the spring and early summer depending on how much rain we get.  Mid-summer you will need to head to lower stretches to find enough water to float your boat.  The south coon convergence is just south of Redfield and the north coon convergence is just north of Van Meter.

    The north coon is a short drive east of Panora, and it will have more consistent water conditions year ’round to float a jon boat and outboard.

    Catfishing on all stretches of the south, middle, and north coon as well as their smaller tributaries can be phenomenal.  Large numbers of eater size to 10# channel cats and larger can be found from the headwaters of middle coon near Carroll all the way to Lake Panorama.  Eater and trophy flatheads are also available from roughly Springbrook State Park to Lake Panorama and below to lower stretches of the river.

    South coon also holds good populations of channel and flathead catfish, but you may have trouble floating your boat on this smallest tributary of the ‘coon.  It is phenomenal for wading however, and if you go up or down river from Nations Bridge you should be able to fill stringers of cats.

    North coon is the largest of the tributaries, and you should be able to float a jon boat from stretches north of Glidden through the southern stretches.  The north coon has abundant numbers of eater cats and boasts good numbers of trophy channel and flathead cats throughout its length.  Certain stretches of north coon also offer very good walleye fishing.

    Good luck!

     

    AvatarCRIA1576
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    Thank you for the head’s up about current conditions.  We will be there 6/22-24.  Hopefully by then the river will clear up some.

    AvatarCRIA1576
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    When I was in High School in the ’90s there was a 1,000 yard range near Van Meter.

    AvatarCRIA1576
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    My suggestion is 180 grain Federal Premium Trophy Bonded or 180 grain Federal Premium Partitions.  Both are fantastic big game rounds for elk and with a 200 yard zero you have very little hold over at 300.

    To get on paper, you can get the 180 grain Federal Power Shoks for about half the cost of the premium ammo.  My local Wally World has them for around $18/box.  The premiums will cost you double.

    FWIW, I emailed Federal asking about the effectiveness of the Power Shoks on elk out to 300 yards.  Their response was, “…the 180 grain Power Shok is perfectly capable of ethically killing elk out to 300 yards out of a .30-06 and .308.”

    Good luck!

    *EDIT- If you are hunting with an outfitter, you may want to see if they have any caliber or bullet minimums for their hunts.  We are headed to NW Montana in September 2021, and the outfitter has a 160 grain minimum.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by AvatarCRIA1576.
    AvatarCRIA1576
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    in reply to: Wyoming CWD Plan #2950870

    Good to know and thank you for confirming

    AvatarCRIA1576
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    in reply to: Wyoming CWD Plan #2950847

    Are mulies impacted at the same or similar rates to whitetails?  What about antelope?

    AvatarCRIA1576
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    in reply to: Hunt with bro #2950846

    Off topic, but Whip, do you have an email address I could contact you on about a WY antelope/muley hunt?  I have always respected your style on the site over the last several years, and I would love to pick your brain about good places for my brother and I to hunt in 2021.

    Thank you in advance!

    Joel

    [email protected]

    AvatarCRIA1576
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    We used to catch some nice red horse suckers out of the cedar above the Waverly dam when I was in college in the late 90s. These were incidental to ice-out catfish. I always thought they were a a beautiful fish with their shiny, golden, scales, red highlights, and forked tails. We never ate them, but they made excellent cut bait for cats. Their fine scales made them much easier to handle than carp. We always had to scale and fillet the carp for cut bait, and it seemed the suckers would outfish the carp 2:1 at least.

    AvatarCRIA1576
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    in reply to: Tomato seeds #1555245

    My wife started our tomatoes, jalapenos, cucumbers, and zuchini in small pods last weekend. They are in the house inside of a little mini green house getting full southern exposure through our patio door. Nothing has sprouted yet, but we are hoping to see some growth by early next week.

    As soon as the frost is out of the ground, I plan to try out my new 60″ tiller! 😈

    AvatarCRIA1576
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    I don’t think a 50% excise tax increase on ammo is going to pass muster in this country. However, thank you for sharing and I will continue writing elected officials.

    I noticed that CCI is now selling all copper .22lr rounds. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another shot at banning all lead ammo come down the pike soon.

    AvatarCRIA1576
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    I have always heard that a pond will either have thriving crappie and bass, but it cannot sustain both.

    In small ponds (<2 acres), this may be the case. However, generally this has not been my experience in medium-larger ponds. One of the best ponds in this area is around 10 acres, and you can easily catch 50-100 bass from 2# and larger on an average morning or afternoon. This same pond supports thriving populations of 12-15" crappies and 10-12" bluegills. This pond is surrounded by CRP and has 2 small feeder creeks. The maximum depth is around 12'.

    When i suggested possibly stocking minnows for feed, I did not mean to going to the bait shop for 10# of minnows. I would agree with the other poster that this approach would increase the risk of stocking unwanted species. However, there are professional fish stocking outfits in the state that can provide only fathead minnows and other forage fish varieties. I did a very cursory search last night, and a 1 acre pond could be stocked with 10# of fatheads once per year to supply adequate food for predator species.

    I think the risk with using a dry "crappie" food is that non-target species may also eat it. In other words, similar to an aquarium at home, I would suspect all of the fish species in the pond would eat the feed, including small bass, bluegills, and any catfish that may be in the pond. I would just hate to get my hopes up with an approach like this.

    You mentioned the pond has a population of 12-15" crappies. It may be most efficient to consider using minnows to maximize the availability of forage for predator fish of this size. This could benefit the body condition of the fish you are targeting fastest. While you will certainly compete with the bass, predation from small gills and crappies should be reduced as compared to the dry product.

    One poster already mentioned that you should be taking every gill and crappie you catch out of the pond, no matter the size. I agree with this approach, and the last I knew the IADNR also supports this recommendation. If they are too small to eat, you can use them for a variety of other uses including excellent garden compost.

    AvatarCRIA1576
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    Mature crappies are very efficient and voracious predators in their own right. A 16″ crappie’s diet is actually going to be very similar to the bass that are also in the pond. The 10″+ bluegills will also compete for the same forage.

    If the crappies and larger bluegills are both skinny and short in numbers, there may be too many bass in the pond. The panfish could be struggling to compete with their larger rivals. If the bass numbers are out of balance in comparison to pan fish, it will be difficult to grow thick crappies and gills. You may want to think about either harvesting some of the bass to equalize the ratio or purchase more bait. You can get thousands of fat head minnows stocked into the pond to increase forage for all of the fish. However, the ratio of bass to pan fish will still be out of wack.

    Just my $.02

    AvatarCRIA1576
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    There is a big farmer that lives one mile south of me straight across the section. They built a full sized trap/skeet range that faces the north, and they also installed a couple of massive flood lights at the top of a grain bin overlooking the range to enable shooting at night. The noise can be a PIA, and it keeps us from having the windows open at night at times to help quiet the racket. The lights brighten the sky like a city and can also be annoying. It’s not a big deal when they are done by early evening, but there have been some nights where they continue shooting until 11pm or later.

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