Come see us at booth 148, February 24th-25th for the Mid Iowa Swap Meet

Come see us at booth 148, February 24th-25th for the Mid Iowa Bass Masters Fisherman Swap Meet held in the 4H building at the Iowa State Fair Grounds. We will be answering all TBF questions as well as signing up new members and clubs on site.  Make sure to stop by as we will also have multiple giveaways and raffles including a brand new Lowrance HDS-7 Live.

2023 District 8 National Semi-Finals Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota

When District 8 Semi Final host Nebraska announced that the National Semi Finals would be held on Lake Okoboji September 22nd-23rd anglers were filled with excitement. Lake Okoboji is located in the NW corner of Iowa and is debatably the best fishery in the Midwest stacking up nationally against many juggernauts.  20lb bags are common on Okoboji anytime of year and 25lb+ bags are not a rare occurrence.  Often 20lbs at Okoboji will not make the top 5! Lake Okoboji consistently proves itself as the best fishery in the state. Okoboji provides a unique opportunity for anglers to spread out between  the deep and clear water in West Okoboji or the shallower and more stained lakes consisting of East Okoboji, Upper and Lower Gar. 20lb+ bags can come out of every lake in the Okoboji chain making it an appealing destination to all anglers and fishing styles.

This event at Okoboji proved no different. On Day 1, Nick Siepker  had the big bag of the event with 26.92lb and held the lead over Chard Garton who weighed in 23.01lb. Rounding out the top 3 was former college angler, Charlie DeShazer bringing in 21.40.  This event was nowhere near from over as many anglers crossed the 20lb mark and were hot on their heels going into day 2.

  1. Kent Priel – 21.40, 1998 Bassmaster Classic Qualifier
  2. Jared Knuth – 20.60, 2013 Bassmaster Classic Qualifier
  3. Hunter Suchsland – 20.25 – 2023 Bassmaster College National Championship, 10thplace finisher

Strong storms moved in overnight, but cleared just in time for takeoff and showed back up for a wet weigh in!   The weather definitely changed the game for day 2 as there was a lot of movement up and down the leaderboard.

On Day 2, Charlie DeShazer brought in 17.52 to finish 6th overall.  Joe “The Zark” McKay came charging from behind weighing 24.89lbs anchored by a 7.78lb largemouth to finish 5th overall.  Hunter Suchsland stayed consistent and brought in 19.53lbs to finish 4.  Jordan Hirt, the 2022 Bass Federation National Champion weighed 19.92lbs to finish 3rd overall.

At the end of Day 2 it came down to the wire! Nick Siepker weighed only 15.28lbs leaving the door open for Chad Garton.  Chad also had a slower day weighing  in 18.43lbs. Chad’s two day total was 41.44lbs.  In the end only .76lbs separated the two anglers, but Garton was unable to close the gap with Siepker’s two day total weighing 42.20lbs and winning the District 8, 2023 Semi-finals.

On the co-angler side, Iowa High School State Champion Ways Raasch won District 8, 2023 Semi-finals with 31.57lbs, besting the closest angler by over 2.5 pounds!

2. Hunter Fry – 28.96
3. Mark Moorman – 27.67
4. Jon Small – 25.98
5. Hunter King – 25.97
6. Brad Rockford – 24.98

The following anglers were the top placing finishers in their state and will be going to The Bass Federation National Championship in 2024.

Angler: Nick Siepker
Co-Angler: Mark Moorman

South Dakota
Angler: Troy Diede
Co-Angler: Terry Laverack

Angler: Joe “The Zark” McKay

Co-Angler: Ways Raasch

We would like to thank TBF Nebraska as they were the host state for this year National Semi Final.  We would also like to thank Bob Harris with South West Iowa Fishing Team for providing his equipment and announcing skills. In combo the pair put together an excellent National Semi Final that left anglers impressed and looking forward to next year.  Special thanks to all anglers who fished with Iowa in our inaugural year. Iowa TBF was formed quickly  in 2023 and was announced after most anglers already had there year planned out. We look forward to growing this state chapter in the years to come and with your support the sky is the limit. Until next year it is time to cheer on our anglers that will be representing Iowa at the TBF National Championship in spring of 2024. Congratulations to Joe McKay and Ways Raasch for qualifying and we look forward to cheering you both on at Nationals in your pursuit of winning the Living the Dream Package!

2023 State Qualifier Recap

The Iowa Bass Federation was formed in early 2023 joining over 40+ state chapters that make up The Bass Federation “TBF”. TBF is the oldest and largest organized  grassroots fishing, youth, and conservation organization there is. TBF provides an avenue for anglers to fish close to home and advance thru club and state federation events to qualify for the National Semi-Finals with our partners in Nebraska and South Dakota. From here each state advances one boater and one co-angler to the TBF National Championship where anglers compete for their chance at the “Living the Dream” package. The LYD package includes over $125,000 in cash/prices  for the first place boater including a new Ranger Z520 powered by a 250hp Mercury outboard. The TBF National Champion pays out over $400,000 in cash and prizes across the entirety of the championship making it an excellent path to start local and advance to national level tournaments as a boater or co-angler.

On July 15th – 16th , 2023 the Iowa Bass Federation held there first state qualifiers at Lake Rathbun.  Each day provides a new opportunity as 3 boaters and 3 co anglers advance each day to the District 8 TBF National Semi-Final.   Lake Rathbun is known to be a tough bass fishery overall, but the potential to catch some of the biggest bass in the state keeps anglers coming back for more.  5-6lb bass are common for Lake Rathbun and our first state qualifier doubled down on the reputation the lake holds. On day 1 we saw over half the field bring in a 5 bass limit, with 7 bass over 5lb hitting the scales including the day 1 big bass of 6.09lb!

Day 1 Leaders in the boater division

1st Place Jamie Taylor with 19.87lb. Big Fish 5.54lb

2nd Place Mike Wheaton with 14.25lb. Big Fish 5.17lb

3rd Place Coy Baird with 12.73lb. Big fish for the day at 6.09lb

Co- Angler division

1st Place Trent Mcdermott with 13.09lb

2nd Place Kale Baird with 12.55lb. Big Bass on the Co Angler side 5.62lb

3rd Place Hunter Fry with 11.95lb

These 3 boaters and 3 co-anglers secured there spot in the District 8 TBF National Semi Final that is being held on Lake Okoboji September 23rd-24th.

On Day 2 the weights are reset and anglers head back out to chase the remaining 3 boater and 3 co anglers spots for the TBF National Semi Final.   Day 2 Rathbun proved to be much tougher with only 7 boaters and 2 co anglers bringing in a limit.   The big fish still made an appearance with 4 bass over 5lb and the overall big bass of the event at 6.34lb! These hawgs are a prime example of what keeps anglers coming to Lake Rathbun despite numbers of fish typically being on the lower side.

Day 2 Leaders in the boater division

1st Place Nate Maher with 15.01lb. Big Bass 5.11lb

2nd Place Cody Batterson with 14.28lb. Big Bass 4.73lb

3rd Place Jamie Taylor with 10.39lb

Jamie was the only angler to finish in the top 3 both days. Since he qualified on day 1 the 4th place angler on day 2 would advance to the National Semi Final”

4th Place with 9.56lb. Big Bass out of both days 6.34lb

Co Angler Division

1st Place Brad Rockwood with 8.76lb. Big Bass 4.54lb

2nd Place Darrin Kirkland with 7.88lb. Big Bass 4.95lb

3rd Place Bill Denniston with 7.55lb

These 6 boaters and 6 co anglers have all qualified for the District 8 TBF National Semi Final at Lake Okoboji on September 22nd-23rd, where 1 boater and 1 co angler will advance to the TBF National Championship for their chance to compete for the Living the Dream package valued over $125,000 in cash/prizes.  Huge shout out to Bob Harris and the South West Iowa Fishing Team “SWIFT” for supporting us with all of the weigh in equipment and facilitating a well ran event.  Bob Harris is the glue that makes all of this possible and we cannot thank him enough. If you have not already go check out Swift and all of the great things they have going for the youth anglers in the state.   Next stop Okoboji in September for the National Semi Final. We will see you there!