Excellent Time to Fish Channel Catfish Right Around The Corner

DNR logoPresent weather notwithstanding, the ice cover is beginning to lose its grip on Iowa lakes and streams marking the beginning of the annual feeding frenzy where channel catfish eat like teenagers on fish that died during the winter.

Channel catfish make up for a winter of light feeding during the first few weeks after ice out making this prime opportunity for some fast and furious fishing.

“They are just absolutely gorging themselves on the stinkiest, smelliest dead fish they can find,” said fisheries biologist Paul Sleeper, from the Lake Macbride management district. “They are just about round, they are so gorged.”

Sleeper witnesses the frenzy at Coralville Reservoir each spring where anglers, standing shoulder to shoulder, work to get their limit of 15 catfish in a few hours.

Ice out catfishing can be done in rivers below low head dams or at the mouths of tributaries, in lakes, but is most common in the large flood control reservoirs. He said warm water is important to successful spring fishing and ice out catfishing is no different.

Find slack water or the backside of a point in the upper end of the flood control reservoir near where the wind is blowing in as a gathering place for dead shad. The area should have shallow water that will warm up quickly. The dead fish will float to the surface and blow in to the bay, leaving a smelly trail for hungry catfish.

The feeding frenzy could be less concentrated in location this spring after high water and runoff from the late winter rain raised river and reservoir levels potentially depositing some of the dead fish above the water line once the water level recedes, especially in eastern Iowa where the bulk of the rain fell.

For the newcomer, Sleeper said it can be a little tricky to keep the bait on the hook and even trickier to keep the stink off your hands.

“Shad guts are about the best, but it can be hard to keep on the hook,” he said. “A lot of the anglers are using a chunk of dead fish on a 1/0 to 3/0 bait holder hook to keep it on. It is usually a fast and aggressive bite.

“Bring disposable latex gloves to handle the bait,” Sleeper said. “You may need to designate a pole or two for catfishing because of the smell. Some anglers use a barrel swivel and a slip sinker because catfish like to roll, especially larger fish.”

His last piece of advice is to plan to arrive in the afternoon to give the water a chance to warm up.

“Fishing could be better in mid-afternoon when the sun is high,” he said.

Orab Track Teams Off to Good Start

trackThe Sheldon Orab Track teams competed at the Dordt indoor meet on Monday. A number of top five finishes were turned in.

In the 55 Meter Hurdles Caitlin Cain was 3rd in 9.83

In the High Jump Marti Vogel was 3rd with a jump of 4-06 inches.

In the 55 Meter Dash Allegra St. Clair was 4th in a time of 8.28.

The 4×200 Meter relay team of Allegra St. Clair, Caitlin Cain, Cally Hatting, Kati Kneifl was 5th in a time of 2:01.56.

In the 4×800 Anna Marie Fjeld, Emma Van Meeteren, Olivia DeKok, Katlyn Holtrop turned in a 5th place finish in 11:34.40.


For the Orab boys Clayton Scheibler won the shot put with a distance of 45 feet 7 and a quarter inches.

Dillon Jansma was 2nd in the 200 Meter Hurdles in a time of 30.09.

Colby Kleinhesselink had a pair of 4th place finishes with a time of 9.36 in the 55 Meter High Hurdles and a distance of 17 feet 9 inches in the Long Jump.

The Sheldon 4 by 400 Meter A team was 5th in a time of 4:11.97.

Brad Gritters to Join Dordt Basketball

PrintBrad Gritters, a senior at Trinity Christian High School in Hull has announced his intention to attend Dordt College and join the Defender basketball program.

Gritters, a 6-3 guard, averaged 17 points per game for Trinity this season while converting 47 percent of his field goals. He also averaged 3.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game for the Tigers. He scored 13.9 points per game as a junior and 3.5 rebounds.

During his career as a three-year starter for Trinity Christian he scored 702 points. Gritters was also a part of two state qualifying cross country teams and helped them to a pair of fifth place finishes.

Brad is the son of Loren and Nancy Gritters and plans to study education.


Josh Ihnen Set to Wrestle in Nationals Thursday

josh ihnenSeven Nebraska Corn Husker wrestlers including Sheldon native Josh Ihnen have qualified for the 2013 NCAA Championships. The Nationals will be decided this Thursday March 21st through Saturday the 23rd at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Senior Josh Ihnen will be making his fourth NCAA appearance after finishing eighth at 184 pounds last season. He is the No. 8 seed after a fourth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships and is set to grapple NDSU’s MacKain Stoll in the first round. Ihnen is 24-6 and leads the team in technical falls with six this season.

Last year at the NCAA Championships, Nebraska tied for 21st with 28 points. Eight Huskers qualified for the tournament as Ihnen and team mate James Green earned All-America honors in 2012.

The 2013 NCAA Championships will take place March 21-23 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

Ennema, Struve Receive Top Basketball Honors

orabs surround champ trophy 2013Sheldon Boys Basketball Coach Claude Struve and Sheldon Senior Dallas Ennema have been named the best in the state in Class 2A according to Iowa Sports Spotlight.

The website has named Dallas Ennema as the 2A Player of the year and Coach Struve as the 2A Coach Of The Year.

Additionally, Justin Van Kalsbeek of MOC-Floyd Valley was named to the All-State 2nd team and Andrew Van Ginkel of Rock Valley was named to the 3rd team.

Click here to see the full article.

Orab Championship T-shirts

champion tshirtshirt_backOrders forms for Sheldon Orabs State Basketball Champions t-shirts are now available in the high school office.

Orders need to be turned in and paid for by noon on Tuesday, March 19. Tee shirts will be in March 27 and available for pickup at the Sheldon High School office.