Classic Finish to the Season!
This year marked the club’s 10th year since starting in 2006. In 2015 we saw the club make a major change in its tournament format back in March. Many anticipated the new year knowing that making the change from a single format to a team format was going to bring back ‘fun’ into the club. Without a doubt the Bandits made the right choice, and the numbers of anglers showing up for a tournament proved it. The Team of the Year race came down to the last tournament and the finish was amazing. The Bandits rolled into Three Mile Corner ramp at Lake Audobon that Saturday morning for day 1 of the 2015 Classic Championship. Team Lance Zent and Jared Sparks were in need of a good finish in order to stay in contention in hopes of snubbing out Team Mantz and Sullivan for the Team of the Year award. Zent and Sparks were 3 points down from Mantz and Sullivan and knew that they needed some big fish and a little help from Mantz and Sullivan to capture the title. While those two teams were looking to take home the Team of the Year award team Arth and Keena had their sights set on winning the 2015 classic championship. Mother nature gave the Bandits a great weekend for weather and now it was up the anglers to test their skill at catching some Lake Audobon trophies. At the end of day one Team Eric Vossler and Todd Vossler weighed in the day’s biggest catch at 9.53 lbs. Following behind them in a close 2nd place was Team Matt Sullivan and Marty Mantz for a three fish limit of 9.33 lbs. Lurking in the background and sitting in a close third place was Team Cody Arth and Shawn Keena that turned in a 9.11 lb bag of fish. It was certain that Day 2 at New Johns lake was going to be crucial to capturing the victory. Honorable mention for Day 1 was Team Chris Harvey and Thomas Leintz for catching the biggest bass of the day at 3.34 lbs. Good job guys. When the sun rose up on Sunday morning the Bandits unloaded their boats into East Park Lake. One by one the boats took off in hopes to find the winning fish. Once again Mother Nature gave the Bandits ample fishing weather. The bite started off hot which gave the anglers many fish to choose from to keep. Some made wise decisions while others threw back their catch in hopes to find bigger ones. Unfortunately for them the bite ended not to long after the bite started. This cause many anglers to scramble throughout the day to try and catch a nice 3 fish limit. Cashing in on some great smallmouth were Team Lance Zent and Jared Sparks by bringing in Day 2 biggest bag of 9.82 lbs. These guys fished hard all weekend and it paid off. Coming in with the 2nd largest bag of the day was Team Chris Harvey and Thomas Leintz with 8.43 lbs. Way to go guys! The 3rd largest bag of fish for Day 2 was Team Arth and Keena with 8.01 lbs. Keena and Arth also caught the biggest bass of the day which tipped the scales at 4.37 lbs.
Once all of the weights were turned in the two day results were totaled together to determine this year Classic Champions. Taking home a solid 3rd place finish were Team Chris Harvey and Thomas Leintz with a total weight of 16.07 lbs! Getting a great finish was Team Jared Sparks and Lance Zent, they’re final total weight was 17.08 lbs which gave them a 2nd place Classic finish! Taking home their first ever Badlands Bass Bandits Classic Championship trophies were Team Cody Arth and Shawn Keena! Team Arth and Keena’s final total weight was 17.12 lbs which was just good enough to take home 1st place!
As mentioned earlier the team of the year came down to the last day of the Classic Championship. With Marty and Matt placing 5th Team Zent and Sparks came up just shy of tying them. Although Mantz and Sullivan didn’t take home a 1st place finish in a tournament they were consistant all year by placing well. Congratulations to Marty Mantz and Matt Sullivan for being our 2015 Badlands Bass Bandits Team of the Year. You guys are officially the first ever Bandits Team of the year!
I’d like to thank everyone for such a great season. Your support to our club is much bigger than fishing. It’s creating new friendships and memories for a lifetime. I hope you all enjoyed this year and we look forward to make the 2016 even better! Have a safe and happy offseason!
Annual Club Camping Weekend is upon us!
The 2015 Badlands Bass Bandits club camping weekend will be here before you know it. We will be camping at the Rim Rock D camp site which is located above the dam and west of the beach area. Our campsite will be available to our club members Friday the 17th until Sunday the 19th. So if you would like to pre-fish on Friday the campsite will be available for you to use Friday. Please stop in at the office located near the dam and let them know that you are checking in for the Bass Bandits club camping weekend and they should take care of you from there. It has been arranged with the Lake Tschida Group for the club to pay for the campsites and I (Paul) or another officer will do so when we arrive there so you won’t have to pay when you check in. Please make sure that when you setup your tent or camper please do so in a manner that will leave room for other members. We are allowed to put more than one tent or camper on our site so leaving enough room is crucial. There will be electrical hookups available to plug in your boat to recharge and your camper. If you have a generator it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring it along. Our first tournament for the weekend is Sheep’s Creek Dam on the 18th. This is a small lake so please make sure that when we park our pickups and trailers to leave room for the public and DO NOT block anyone in who is not a club member (a.k.a. public) in recent years we’ve blocked people in and they have to track people down on the water and ask them to idle all the way back to the ramp and move their vehicle and trailer so that they can load up there boat. Tournament Directors please try to control traffic and guide them where to park as we unload and load boats. It would be wise to leave an area completely open for public people to park.
After the Sheep’s Creek tournament is over we will all meet back up at the campsite at Lake Tschida to get settled in. Once we are settled in we will get the grills started up so that we can have our annual club picnic. The club paid for the meat and buns last year and we plan to do so again. If you would like to bring chips, salads, beans, and deserts to share at the picnic it is encouraged. We will need people to bring grills to use and if anyone doesn’t like hamburgers or hot dogs ( club is providing) please bring what you need to cook and eat then. Once we are done stuffing ourselves with food we will hold our annual Ladder Ball tournament, trophies will be available for this. With all of this going on plus talking about fishing it will be a busy fun festive evening.
When Sunday morning rolls around we will be docking out of North Shore on Lake Tschida for the final tournament of the weekend. If you have any questions about the tournaments or camping information please ask any of the club officers. You can call us or write us on the club forum or our club facebook page. It will be a lot of fun so please make sure you can try and make it!
Ice Bowl 2015 Preview
Nelson Lake Ice Bowl!
It’s that time of year again to get the season started. On March 21st the Badlands Bass Bandits will host their annual Ice Bowl tournament. This event was created to help break cabin fever from its winter roots and allow club members to get together and have some fun. The event will start at 9 a.m. and will end at 1 p.m. central time. We will be meeting at the North ramp prior to the event to get everyone signed up and rules addressed. Please be there at least a half hour before start time. There is no entry fee nor will there be any prize money to win. We will have the traveling trophy to hand out as well as 1st place team plaques. If you’ve never participated in our ice bowl below is a list on how it works.
Meet at North Ramp
Members will draw out of a hat for team partner
Teams can fish from either a boat or from shore
All bass must be measured by ruler provided (no exceptions)
Measurements must be verified by a different team member
Teammates can’t fish out of the same boat unless that boat has at least one non-teammate in it.
Anglers will record their verified measurement on official Ice Bowl tracking sheet.
Measure to the nearest ¼ inch.
Each team will turn in their best 6 fish
The team with the most accumulative total length from their best 6 fish will win the tournament
It is the team’s responsibility to display their best 6 fish using the tracking sheet prior to turning it in to the tournament directors. Do just turn in the sheet for the TD to figure it out.
Tournament Directors will verify the lengths are correct after the tracking sheets have been turned in.
#1 rule of all…Have Fun!
If you have any questions please call vice president Shawn Keena at 701-516-2757
Bandits Set Their Sights on Lake Nelson
The 2014 Badlands Bass Bandits club tournament season is here! The ice is gone and the snow has melted and we are set to get started to another great year. As tradition goes the club will host their first tournament of the season at Lake Nelson. This lake boasts great numbers of largemouth bass that can range anywhere from 6 inches to 7 pounds! This provides the club members with great bass fishing as well as a chance to weigh in a whopper. Anglers from all across the state as well as into the state of South Dakota will be putting their skills to the test to try and win the first tournament of the year.
As mentioned in a previous article, the new tournament entry fee for club members is $30 and the optional Big Bass Cash pot is an extra $10. Non-members may fish one tournament per year at a tournament entry fee of $40, if they want to fish more they must become a member. Tournaments will start at 7 a.m. central time and end at 3 p.m. If you would like to join our club please visit the membership page of this website (http://badlandsbassbandits.com/clubinfo.html).
Stayed tuned for results and pictures for this weekend’s tournament as well as Angler and Rookie of the year standings.
A Frigid Ice Bowl
Kayci & Eric Ice bowl Champions!
Hayden & Tony
The 2014 Badlands Bass Bandits Ice bowl is in the books! It was the coldest Ice Bowl in club history but that didn’t stop the club members from having a good time. The Bandits started out with a cloudy day driven by fog from Lake Nelson but once the sun got up a little bit higher the outside conditions became a bit more tolerable. After a few casts without strikes it was Robert Reinbold who struck first by landing the first Lake Nelson bass. From there on the Bandits started catching fish and it would continue throughout the day. The action wasn’t fast and furious but it seemed that someone was reeling in a fish about every 5 to 10 minutes. The average size of fish being caught was 14 inches with the occasional 15 to 16 inch bass. It certainly wasn’t a day for big ones biting but you never heard anyone complain since we were all finally able to get out of the house and break some cabin fever.
In order to win the Ice Bowl a 2 person team must catch the 6 largest bass during the contest, this is determined by length of a bass rather than by weight. This year’s 4th place team went to Tony Reinbold and Luke Kenneberg with a total length of 74 inches. Jason Bader and Mason Dietrich best six was good enough for a 3rd place finish totaling 76 inches. Paul and Robert Reinbold brought home 2nd place honors with a 87.25 inch effort. Taking home the 1st place prize was Eric Vossler and Kayce Ehli of Bismarck. Word has it that they struggled throughout the day without any bites until the last hour of the day. Perhaps the key fish was the 18 incher that was caught by Eric Vossler to help propel them past Team Reinbold. Congrats Eric and Kayce!
Well that about sums it up for the 2014 Ice Bowl I’m sure next year will be another great time had by all but I can guarantee we here at the club house are looking forward to warm weather and the start of the 2014 BBB tournament season! If you would like to become a club member please view our membership page as well as contact one of our club officers for any questions that you may have. Don’t forget our 2014 season is upon us and will start the first weekend in May at Lake Nelson!
Ice Bowl 2014!
Ice Bowl @ Nelson Lake
Saturday March 22nd 9 am- 2 pm (cst)
Please be there by 8:30 to be registered and for the rules meeting.
For this event we have had many different types of weather conditions to fish in, one year we were all wearing shorts and t-shirts and fishing from boats, the next year we were bundle up like Eskimo’s and couldn’t see the other side of the lake due to the fog. Regardless of weather this event is always a blast and we encourage you to join us for this year. The tournament will start at 9 a.m. til 2 p.m. central time on March 22nd at the north west boat ramp of lake nelson. Please be there by 8:30 to be registered and for the rules meeting. If you plan on coming and the weather looks to be bad and you want to know if the Ice Bowl is still on please contact one of the officers listed on this site. See you there!
Reinbold Trumps Tough Classic
In 2008 Paul Reinbold won hisfirst Badlands Bass Bandits Classic Championship on Lake Nelson on September 14th. On that day Reinbold also set a record low weight for winning a classic with only 6.75 lbs. This year the Bass Bandits held their annual Bass Bandit Classic Championship on Lake Sakakawea for the second straight year in a row. This was a tough event to fish and Paul Reinbold weighed in the 3rdlowest weight to win a Classic but also it was the lowest recorded weight to win the Classic since this tournament turned into a two day event. No doubt Mother nature was the culprit to blame because she has been relentless on throwing cold fronts in North Dakota during the weekend. The weather was windy, cloudy and cold from Thursday afternoon all the way through Sunday. This not only made it a tough event to fish but boating around the lake was difficult and many anglers didn’t have much choice as to where they were going to fish.
On day one of the Classic the Bandits launched out of Beulah bay. A few anglers went North and some went east but most of them stayed in Beulah bay due to the rough waters. Going across the lake heading north the waves weren’t too bad in the morning but coming back for the weigh in it was a different story. After everyone made it back to the ramp safely the weigh-in was started. Leading after day one was hot hand Nate Dirks of Minot. Nate had a great season fishing for smallmouth and it was no surprise that he brought in the heaviest bag for day one. Nates total weight for day one was 5.03 lbs, he also weighed in the heaviest smallmouth for the two day tournament at 3.11 lbs. Sitting in second place was Paul Reinbold with 4.17 lbs and third place was Janine Wetzel with 3.59 lbs.
On Day two of the tournament the Bandits launched out of the State Park near Pick City. This is a large bay that provided lots of fishing as well as protection for the high winds. When the flag was dropped the bandits raced out of the bay in search of smallmouth bass. It was a bit warmer on Day two and the wind had switched directions allowing anglers to travel a lot farther than Day one. However, the anglers knew that the winds were going to pick up later in the morning so they raced to their spots in hopes to catch a quick limit. When 2 o’clock came the Bandits loaded up their boats to weigh in their fish. Coming in with the day’s heaviest weight was Paul Reinbold with 4.15 lbs. Paul won the event with a combined two day total weight of 8.32 lbs. Certainly not the weight one would expect when coming to Lake Sakakawea but when the conditions are bad one must catch the right fish to win no matter how big or small. Chase Fernandez brought in 4.06 lbs for day two to add to his total weight of 6.07 lbs. Chase also finished 2nd in the Angler of the Year title only to miss out by 3 points! Great season Chase! Weighing with a total weight of 5.62 was day one leader Nate Dirks who finished 3rd in this event.
After the 2013 Classic Champion was crowned the Bandits had their annual end of the year awards to hand out. Perhaps the most important award amongst all of them was the Angler of the Year title. This years winner was Matt Sullivan of Bismark. Matt fished tough all season long and to win this event you must be consistent. Especially when you have young gun Chase Fernandez chasing you all season long! Great job on a season well done Matt and as for Chase placing second I am sure he will be back for another go at it next year! The Biggest Largemouth of the year award went to Matt Sullivan that weighed 5.23 lbs he also won the Biggest Smallmouth of the year award with a 4.42 lb dandy. The 2013 Rookie of the Year was Beth Basinger of Minot, ND. Beth fished hard all season long and pretty much kept a safe cushion between her and the other rookies this season. Congratulations Beth and remember you plaque is way nicer than Steve’s! The Mixed Bag award (angler with a combination of smallmouth and largemouth) was Cody Arth that weighed 8.49 lbs. The 2013 Horizon Awards winners were Matt Sullivan and Chase Fernandez (go figure!). The Horizon award is awarded to the angler who improved the most from the previous year. This award is determined by the average weight per tournament compared to last year’s average and the angler with the largest improvement wins the award. Winning the 2013 Big Bass Challenge was Paul Reinbold with a combined length of a 21 inch largemouth and a 15 inch smallmouth for a total of 36 inches. Paul won a rod and reel combo for this contest. Paul also a donated rod from Denali rods which was given to the winner of the classic. The rest of the top 10 anglers of the classic received a 40% off coupon from Denali!
It certainly was a great year, and we are all looking forward to continuing this club’s legacy next year. We will be holding our annual club meeting on October 19th at the old governor’s mansion. If you are interested in joining please come to this event so we can meet you. We would like to thank our sponsors for making it such a great year; Whiskey River Baits, Denali Rods, Dakota Tackle, Crazy D’Construction, Capital City rain gutters, and Geo’s Corner of Lemmon, SD. Without you none of this would be possible!
The Badlands Bass Bandits held their first ever night tournament on Nelson Lake last week. The tournament started at 2 p.m. and fished until 10 p.m. All boats were required to have navigation lights to prevent any accidents on the water and we are proud to announce that it was a safe successful event. Heading into this event the Angler of the Year race was tight between the top three members.
Matt Sullivan has been fishing strong all year long and he got the finish that he needed to help seperate himself a little bit more between young gun Chase Fernandez. Sullivan weighed in 3 bass for a final weight at 11.98 lbs, he also gained an extra point towards the AOY race by catching the biggest bass of the tournament that weighed 5.23 lbs. Coming in with a second place finish was new club member Jeff Gibson who weighed 3 fish at 9.80 lbs. Nice job Jeff. Another member who has been fishing strong all year long was Chase Fernandez. Chase also had a good tournament by weighing in with 8.81 lbs that helped him grab a third place finish. Lake Nelson once again provided the Bandits with ample fishing including a 4.53 lbs bass that was caught by new club member Coye Eagen. Way to go Coye!
The next tournament on the schedule is the last one of the year. It is the most prestigous tournament that North dakota has to offer.....the 2013 Badlands Bass Bandits Classic Championship. Once again it will be held on Lake Sakakawea. This lake will offer many areas to fish with lots and lots of smallmouth to catch. The Angler of the Year title is pretty much Matt Sullivans to lose. With a 7 point lead he would have to not catch a fish during this tournament and Chase Fernandez would have to win and catch the biggest bass of the tournament. It may seem impossible for it to happen but I have seen stranger things happen. So stay tuned to find out who will be the 2013 Angler of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Classic Champion!
Start Your Engines!
Club Member Chase Fernandez with a nice Nelson Lake bass!
2013 Meeting Minutes!
The Badlands Bass Bandits held their annual meeting to kick off their 2013 tournament season. As usual there was much to discuss for the up and coming season. The first order of discussion was the review of the club's rules as well as discussion of possible rule additions and changes. Since the dawn of this club the bandits have started all of their tournaments at 7 a.m. mtn time and ended at 2 p.m. The club has now changed their start times to 6 a.m. and will fish til 2 p.m. All who attended this meeting were in favor of this change due to the fact that it will give it's members a better shot at an early morning bite! Another rule change was made in regards to a prefishing rule. For the 2013 season any lake that is less than 600 acres, anglers will not be allowed to prefish Sunday nite through Friday night of the week of the tournament. The new season will also have a new rule for a 2 day tournament. In the event that day 1 of competition is complete and day 2 is unsafe due to bad weather the tournament will be concluded and the results from day 1 will determine the tournament winners. In the event that day 1 is usafe due to bad weather the tournament directors along with the club members will decide if day 2 of competition will go ahead as planned. There was a rule change to Rule #34 which previously stated the following: No one over the age of 16 will be allowed to ride along during a tournament without paying the entry fee, whether they fish or not. An angler under the age of 16 may ride along whether they fish or not, free of charge, but will not be considered for awards or prize money. The change to this rule will be that "anyone who wants to ride along will be allowed no matter what their age is without paying a tournament entry fee. If a person riding along wants to fish, that person must pay the tournament entry fee. An angler under the age of 16 may ride along whether they fish or not, free of charge, but will not be considered for awards or prize money in either the Junior or Adult divisions." The final discussion of rule change was in regards to Junior membership fees as well as tournament entry fees. From now on tournament entry fees for Junior anglers will be $5, and they will not be required to pay a $25 membership fee. However, they must fill out a membership form in order to compete in Junior tournaments.
2013 Annual Meeting
The Badlands Bass Bandits will be hosting their Annual Meeting on January 19th, 2013 at 1 p.m. central time located at 320 E. Ave. B at the old Governor’s Mansion in Bismarck. There will be many topics that will be discussed in regards to the well being of the club and the upcoming 2013 tournament season. Rule changes and updates will be one of the topics of discussion as well as electing new club officers. New comers welcome! We encourage other anglers across the region that love to bass fish and want to learn more about the sport as well as meet other people who share the same passion to attend this meeting and become a Bass Bandit member.
Reinbold Qualifies for 2013 B.A.S.S. State Team!!
The Badlands Bass Bandits very own club member Robert Reinbold of Timber Lake, SD accomplished another goal in his fishing career. Certainly 2012 was a good year for Robert, especially the last few months of the fishing season. Not only did he win the biggest smallmouth of the year award and the prestigious Badlands Bass Bandits Classic Championship on Lake Sakakawea he also qualified for the 2013 South Dakota B.A.S.S.(Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society) State Team! The South Dakota B.A.S.S. federation held their annual state team qualifying event on September 29th and 30th at Lake Sharpe. Robert headed down a day earlier before the event to check out the lakes water clarity and temperature to help him develop a game plan. On day 1 of the event Robert got on the fish early was able to stay on them all day. Armed with Whiskey River tube jigs the smallmouth of Lake Sharpe didn’t stand a chance. He brought in a nice limit of smallmouth bass that weighed 12.31 lbs which put him at 9th place after day 1. Even though he lost a key fish due to the hook breaking Robert was pleased with his finish that day because only a pound separated 1st place and 10th place so he knew he was in striking distance. Day 2 rolled around and the smallmouth bite was on again for him, boating bass after bass Robert had a busy day of culling. At the end of the final day he weighed in at 12.71 lbs which was key because he knew he needed to have a consistent weight on that lake. Reinbold’s final total weight for the tournament was 25.02 lbs which gave him a 4th place finish which was more than enough to qualify for the 2013 South Dakota State Team. He and his teammates will be competing against other state teams this fall in hopes to advance on to the B.A.S.S. divisional! Good Luck Robert and way to go the Bass Bandits are all proud of you!
2012 Season Recap
In life all things good or bad come to an end. Unfortunately for the Badits the 2012 tournament season has come to just that. With the water hardening up and the reindeer starting to fly it is clear that it is time to put the boats away. Many Bandits will cure the cabin fever by going pheasant or deer hunting while others will venture out onto the ice and take advantage of North Dakota's ice fishing season. Perhaps one thing all of the members will have on their mind is the anticipation of the 2013 tournament season. Accompanying that anticipation will be club members sharpening their hooks, prepping their tacl;e, and spooling their reels for the up and coming tournament season. But before we look to far into the future let's take a moment and reflect on the 2012 season.
When June rolled around the Bandits wrote a new chapter by adding a new lake in their schedule. The gang headed east to fish Spiritwood Lake near Jamestown. That day mother nature reminded the Bandits that she is in control by providing them with gale force winds and rain. Nonetheless the club launched their boats and held a tournament that day. Smallmouth King Mantz took the top honors that day by weighing 9.96 lbs, he also won the big bass award with a 3.86 lb smallmouth. Shawn Keena also had a great day with his best finish as a member since joining a couple of years ago. Kenna took 2nd place honors with a three fish limit that weighed 7.27 lbs. In the last weekend of June the Bandits held a tournament at Lake Audobon on saturday and Lake Sakakajawea on Sunday. Jeff Wetzel fished his way to a 1st place finish by weighing in 9.19 lbs. Jeff also won big bass honors that day with a nice 3.38 lb smallmouth. His wife Janine took 2nd place honors with 8.30 lbs and Junior member Dylan Sandberg took 1st place honors by catching a personal best 5.03 lbs. On Sunday the club moved acrossed the highway to fish Lake Sakakajawea. It was a warm beautiful day with many members in attendance. The Wetzels had the hot hand coming into that days event and they never looked back. Coming in that day with a 1st place finish was Janine Wetzel at 7.58 lbs. She was also able to capture the big bass award that day with a 2.96lbs smallmouth!
In August the Bandits held their annual club camping weekend. The first stop of the weekend was Sheeps creek dam. Marty Mantz was able to bag three nice largemouth that day for a total weight of 10.33lbs. Chase Fernandez won the big bass award that day with a 4.29 lb largemouth! After the weigh in was complete the club setup camp by Lake Tschida. After eating some great food the members prepared themselves for battle. Names were drawn and teams were formed to compete in the annual Badlands Bass Bandits Ladder Ball Championship! As usual there were many great plays and memories made during the fierce competition. Coming out with a narrow win Mr. and Mrs. Team Keena! After the ladder ball tournament was over the bandits settled around the campfire for some good ol' fish stories. The next day the bandits headed out onto Lake Tschida. Coming out on top with a nice bag of smallmouths was Eric Vossler at 7.02 lbs. This was a sweet victory for Vossler because it was his first and I am sure this rising start will have many more to come. Weighing 3 more nice smallmouths was Curtis Wentz of Lemmon, SD. Wentz is no stranger to Lake Tschida and he showed it by weighing in 6.67 lbs, he also weighed in the biggest bass that day with a 4.01 lb smallmouth. Also having a good day was Dylan Sandberg who captured his 3rd Junior member victory by weighin in 1.53 lbs.
Collecting his 3rd consecutive Angler of the Year award was Marty Mantz. Marty had a great consistant year by placing in the top three at each event. Here are the rest of the 2012 seasonal awards:
It sure was an exciting year for the Bandits and I am sure that the 2013 will be even better. Stay tuned to this website for club updates and other information that will be happneing during the winter season. Merry Christmas to all and as always we'll see you on the water.
Reinbold Takes Classic!
Have you ever heard of the old saying “third time’s the charm?” Well it took the Bass Bandits three days to complete their 2012 Classic Championship and on the third day a champion was born. For the first time in club history the Classic Championship was held on a different lake other than Nelson lake. Lake Sakakawea was the chosen spot to hold this coveted event. This lake not only offers all sorts of different types of cover and structure but it also provides space and lots of it. This lake is the 3rd largest man made reservoir in the United States. It’s widest point is 14 miles wide and is 307,000 acres big with about 1,320 miles of shoreline. Which is more miles compared to California’s coastline (not including inlets and bays)? So when I say lots of space I’m not joking, mix that in with a little breeze from the plains of North Dakota and you get an experience like you see on the Discovery channels -Deadliest Catch television show!
On day one there was lots of anticipation as boats were unloading into the water. Some members had their day planned and others were going to let their instincts guide them to where the winning catch will be! The sky was clear and the sun was bright and one by one the bandits stormed out of the bay. Coming in as your day one leader was Robert Reinbold of Timber Lake, SD. Reinbold isn’t a stranger when fishing smallmouth as he made quick work in finding them on Sakakawea. His biggest bass of the day weighed 3.31 lbs which helped him secure a early day one lead with a weight of 8.11lbs. Not far behind him was defending classic champ Marty Mantz who bagged the largest bass of the day of 3.66 lbs. Mantz’s total weight for day 1 was 7.82 lbs. Finishing up the top three angles for day 1 was Jeff Wetzel of Mandan who weighed in a total weight of 6.96lbs. With the top three anglers so closed to each other this was shaping up to be a tight race to the finish for the 2012 Classic Championship.
Day two anticipation wasn’t much different amongst the members compared to day 1. The weather was a lot different on the second day. It was cloudy, cold, and a bit wet at times which is about average day for North Dakotans. The switch in the weather gave hope to those who didn’t perform well on day one. A lot of them hoped that the fishing would turn off for the leaders and turn on for them. Some had a lot better day compared to their results on the first day but that didn’t keep the top leaders from faltering. In fact one angler came in with a lot bigger weight than the first day. Robert Reinbold weighed in one of his best tournament weights in his Bass Bandit career, tipping the scales at 11.15lbs! Coming in with a steady weight to keep himself in contention to win 3rd Classic in a row was Marty Mantz with 8.78lbs. Holding on to 3rd place was Jeff Wetzel with a 2nd day weight of 5.85lbs. Having a big day was Eric Vossler who weighed in 7.05 lbs to put himself in position to possibly take a third place finish in the classic.
Day three came along (finally) and it was pretty much up to Reinbold and Mantz as far as to whom had a win the 2012 Classic unless they would both falter really bad. As far as a 3rd place finish it was between Wetzel and Vossler. Day three consisted of a mixed bag of weather for the bandits. First it was cold and cloudy, then it was cold and windy, then it was sunny, cold, and windy, then it was calm - go figure. Never the less the bandits headed out onto the lake in search of the big one. Finding the big one was Robert who weighed in the biggest bass of day 3 with a 3.14 smallmouth. This bass gave Robert the finish that he was looking for…1st place! Roberts day 3 weight was 8.56lbs. Reinbold’s final total weight for the classic was 27.82 lbs, this was Roberts’s first classic victory and he didn’t flinch during the three day tournament event. He knew he had to fish consistently and precise during all three days and he did. Congratulations Robert on a job well done and your first Badlands Bass Bandits Classic Championship!!! Coming in with a strong day 2 weight was Marty Mantz with 7.51 lbs. This sealed a good second place finish for Mantz in the 2012 Classic. Eric Vossler of Bismarck was able to bag a nice limit of smallmouth to help him capture a 3rd place finish. Vossler’s weight for day 3 was 6.88 lbs.Congrats to our top place finishers for a job well done. Stay tuned to this website for a 2012 Season In Review article that will feature our tournament winners throughout the season as well as our members who won the 2012 Angler of the Year and other yearly awards.
Get ready to rumble ladies and gentlemen, the Bass Bandits are heading to Lake Sakakawea for the 2012 Classic Championship. This is the first time in Bandit history that a lake other than Nelson Lake will be the site to host this coveted event. Typically this event holds much anticipation to the Rookie of the Year as well as the Angler of the year titles. But, a late run of tournament success for rookie Steve Basinger passed up the rookie season point leaders Nate Dirks and Duane Lankford who had great success during the early parts of the season. Basinger is currently 12 points ahead of the rookie group which puts him out of reach since the most points an angler can receive during a tournament event is 11 points. Marty Mantz wrapped up the Angler of the Year season prior to the Classic once again for the 3rd straight year. Mantz finished 1st in 3rd in the last two Bandit events which put him out of reach from the surging Wetzel’s who have been consistently placing in the top 5 all season long. One thing that is certain is Team Wetzel will be ready for the Classic so make sure you bring your best when facing them on Lake Sakakawea. Another perk that the Bandits will be looking forward to is the Classic Team Trophies. Numbers are drawn prior to the start of the tournament. The members who are paired up with the same number will fish for the Classic Team Championship. Even though they will not be fishing together their individual weight will be added up for a final total weight. This extra perk helps get the members to work together and share more knowledge on bass fishing! As we all know Lake Sakakawea is a very large lake and can get rough in a hurry so be prepared… it might not be a bad idea to let someone know where you are going for safety reasons. Good luck to all and we will see you at the finish line to crown another Badlands Bass Bandits Classic Champion!
Click Map for Larger image!
The Bandits will be heading to South Dakota this weekend for their first Lake Oahe tournament. This lake is full of giant smallmouth so bring plenty of tackle to battle these bruisers! Above you will see a map with a red X to mark the spot of the boat launch site. This is the bay that we will be using for the tournament it's called "The Bay." If you hear somebody call it "Jed's Landing" that was its old name…so it's the same. This will be a great place to launch because it's right next to the camp site. The boat ramp is right next to a bait shop that has a lot of docks so we plan on setting up the scale right next to the dock and our boats can pull up and weigh up to avoid the hassle of running fish up and down the parking lot and back to the into water. One thing that you will need is a $5 permit to use the boat ramp here which can be purchased at the bait shop. However, if you purchase gas there you will get it for free. So make sure you get one before you use the ramp.
It would also be a good idea to get one on Friday to use for Saturday that way you won't have to do that Saturday morning. This camp site is a nice camp site it has running water and bathrooms. Here is the phone number to use to call ahead and reserve a camping spot: 1-605-845-2769. I believe the cost for a spot is $18. If you don't want to camp there are plenty of hotels in Mobridge which is just 5 minutes away from the launch site. As for navigating the lake it is a very safe lake, it's a big body of water much like Sakakajawea. If you are unsure of an area just stay in the middle of the lake to travel and you will be just fine. From what I have heard there will be lots of club members camping the night before including myself. See map below for a closer up view of "the bay."
Click Map for Larger image!
On Sunday the bandits will head west of Mobridge on Highway U.S. 12 to Lake Pudwell which is located 4 miles east of McIntosh, SD (approx 50 miles west of Mobridge). This impoundment is located just on the North side of the highway and it is stocked full of big largemouth and should provide great fishing for everybody. This isn't the Bandits first tournament here, last year Pudwell proved to be a great fishery for the Bandits to enjoy and the expectation is just as high as last year. Make sure you pack plenty water to drink before, during and after the tournaments because I'm sure the warm weather pattern will continue throughout the weekend. If you have any questions about directions please feel free to call one of the club officers.
View PDF File Here
Bandits Double Header!
Lots of smallmouth to be caught this weekend!!
Better to serve you (the members) the Badlands Bass Bandits were looking for a solution to cut the cost down on traveling to tournaments. So back in February the club members decided to hold a few double headers this year. The first double header of the year will be held this weekend at Lake Audobon on Saturday June 30th and Lake Sakakajawea on July 1st.
The Bandit gang will be launching out of Three Mile Corner Ramp for the Lake Audobon tournament. If you are not familiar on how to get there turn east on the first highway just north of the Dam. Go about 4 miles and when the paved road curves to the north take a hard sharp right hand turn onto the gravel road and stay on it unitl you reach the boat ramp. Ya can't miss us we'll be the only group out there with bass boats! Lake Audobon is full of sunken islands so if you have a GPS use it to navitgate safely, if ya don't be sure to navigate your way through the lake at a safe speed....better yet just ask members and they can point ya in the right direction.
Once the weigh in for the Audobon tournament is done and the dust has settled we will head west just a bit to Fort Stevenson (by Garrison) on Lake Sakakajawea. That will be the launch location for Sunday's tournament on Sakakajawea. This is a large lake that can get rough reallly quick so if you have a small boat be weather conscious and stay inside the many safe bays this lake has to offer. There are smallmouths to be had every where! Oh and don't forget your tent and sleeping bag because many will be staying overnight! Good luck and stay tuned for the results of this mighty double header!
- Paul Reinbold
Spiritwood Lake Map
The Badlands Bass Bandits will be hosting their 3rd tournament of the year at Spiritwood Lake. Spiritwood Lake is 10 miles North and 4 miles East of Jamestwown and it will be our first tournament on this lake. Spiritwood is a really deep lake with a maximum depth of 55.5 feet. This place is filled with monster smallies so it should be a great tournament. Maybe even record breaking?! There is a chance of rain so be sure to bring your rain gear. Tournament start time is 7am mountain (8am central) but be sure to get there early to sign up and get your boat in the water. The pre tournament meeting will start half an hour before take-off . Hopefully the bass will be biting!! See you all there.
Battle of the Canals!
IMPORTANT: The Badlands Bass Bandits will be docking out of East Park Ramp as scheduled. Recently the East park ramp was under construction but has been completed in time for Memorial Day weekend. The tournament itself will be starting at 7 a.m. mountain time and will end at 2 p.m. be sure to be there early enough to sign up and unload your boat. Don't forget your rain gear! Weather man is predicting a 50% chance of rain and 15 MPH North east winds. Looks like it will be a typical New Johns tournament. See ya'll there !
- Paul Reinbold
Saddle Up Bandits!
Nelson May 12th!
That’s right Bass Bandits it’s time to spool those reels, sharpen them hooks, and circle the wagons around Lake Nelson in pursuit of those green fish! On Saturday the 12th the Bass Bandits will host their first club tournament for the 2012 season. With the mild winter and warm early spring the bass shall be in full swing throughout the lake which will help spread the field during the tournament. Due to the great amount of bass that Nelson has to offer it tends to draw lots of club members to attend this annual event.
The tournament will start at 7 a.m. til 2 p.m. (mountain time zone) please be there early so all entries can be collected and allow time to go over the rules. Once all I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed we shall launch from the south east boat ramp in pursuit of having a successful day on the water. If you are interested in joining the Bass Bandits please visit the membership link listed above for contact information. Hope to see you there!
- Paul Reinbold
Ice or Sunshine Bowl
The last weekend of March held the first chapter for the 2012 season for the Badlands Bass Bandits. To kick it off the Bandits hosted their annual Ice Bowl event. Typically the Bandits have to dress up like Eskimos and stand on shore trying to catch green fish, but this year with the unusual warmer weather pattern the gang wasn’t sure if we should call it a Sunshine bowl instead! Never the less the Bandits held a quick rules meeting that included team partner drawings before the launch. Once the teams were picked the anglers climbed into their boats and waited for the signal to start fishing. Boats headed every which way with hopes of finding the right fish to help their team partner to take home the traveling trophy as well as 1st place plaques. It was a beautiful morning with warm temps in the mid 70’s and light winds from the north. It was a calm and peaceful first hour and half of the contest with no boats moving to different locations. Everybody had a game plan and stuck with it. But as always someone makes a move and then everybody starts scrambling to the next spot hoping to catch a big one.
Fourteen members showed up for this year’s event which made splitting into 7 teams of two rather easy. This year’s teams were ( in no particular order) Matt Sullivan and Prairie Grate, Chase Fernandez and Robert Reinbold, Johnathan Campbell and Eric Vossler, Nick Keena and Eric Fernandez, Jeff Wetzel and Duane Lankford, Paul Reinbold and Marty Mantz, and Shawn Keena and Nate Dirks.
Each fish that was caught and measured had to be verified by another angler from a different team. Each member of the two person team had to record the lengths of their best 3 bass of the day. No member of a team was allowed to turn in more than their best 3. At the end of the day there were a total of 101 bass caught, which comes out to an average of 7 bass per angler. This number of Bass caught for this event crushes the old record by 30 Bass which was set last year on March 26th with a total of 71 Bass caught. Another record was broken this year that was also set during last year’s event, Matt Sullivan caught a 23 inch long Bass that beat the old record of 20.5 inches held by Marty Mantz back in 2011.
Coming in with a 7th place finish and a combined length of 51.5 inches was Team Jeff Wetzel and Duane Lankford. Team Shawn Keena and Nate Dirks finished with combined length of 89.5 inches, they’re largest bass was caught by Keena with a measurement of 19 inches! Edging out Keena and Dirks for a 5th place finish was Team Eric Fernandez and Nick Keena with a combined length of 90.5 inches. Team Eric Vossler and Johnathan Campbell stretched the tape measure with a combined length of 100.5 inches, Vossler caught the teams largest bass of 18 inches which helped them capture a 4th place finish. Team Robert Reinbold and young gun Chase Fernandez came in with an combined overall length of 102 inches for a strong 3rd place finish, Chase landed the teams largest Bass of 20.25 inches! Joining forces and turning in a combined length of 105.5 inches which secured a 2nd Place finish was Team Matt Sullivan and Prairie Grate. As mention above Sullivan land a Ice Bowl record 23 inch bass! By luck of the draw Marty Mantz and Paul Reinbold made up the seventh team that turned in a combined length of 108 inches which was good enough for a 1st place finish! Mantz brought home the bacon for the team by catching a 21 inch Bass which secured a top place finish for the team! At the end of the day the members enjoyed sharing stories and fishing information along with some free tackle provided by a premier bait company called Whiskey River Bait Company. All in all it was a great day with great weather and great people to share it with. If your interested in joining our club please visit our membership link and contact our club officers!
The next time the gang will get together will be on May 12th at Lake Nelson for the Power Plant Shootout! We will be launching from the southeast ramp at 7 a.m. mountain time. Please join us! - Paul Reinbold
Bandits to host annual spring meeting
Time: 1 p.m. central time
Location: Old Governor's Mansion state historic site, 320 East Avenue B, Bismarck
Sakakawea Up Next!
Well with only two tournaments left in 2011 season the Bass Bandits will find themselves fishing one of North Dakota's premier fisheries - Lake Sakakajawea. This is an all time first for the clubs 6 year history. This is by far the largest lake the Bandits have ever fished, so I am sure there will be plenty of fishing room.But with luxry there is usually a price to pay. Finding and locating smallmouth bass on such a large body of water may sometimes feel like your trying to find a needle in a haystack. But, there are a lot of good anglers in the club that are eager to help each other out to ensure that everyone will have a good day on the water....that is if mother nature has anything to say about. Not only is Lake Sakakajawea a great fishery but its large body can produce some massive waves. So be sure to check the weather report before you head out and fish it. This will help you decide where you can and can't fish, not to mention it will keep you safe! With the points race pretty much all sewed up the Bandits are pretty much shooting for bragging rights as well as ending the year with a good finish before heading into the Classic Championship at the end of the month.
Another great feature about this weekends tournament is the fishing seminar that will take place after the weigh in. If you ever wanted to know anything about drop shotting, our very own Johnathan Campbell will be doing a seminar on his favorite bass fishing technique - drop shot rig. Johnathan has become a very knowledgable angler in this area and has improved his tournament success in the past few years with this specific fishing technique. If your unable to attend the seminar email or call Johnathan and I'm sure he'll give ya all the tips and secrets ya need!
The tournament starts at 7 a.m. and weigh in is at 2 p.m. MOUNTAIN time at the State Park boat ramp next to the marina. If you are coming from the west drive through Pick City and when you pass the Bar n Grill keep heading east for a bit until you see sign for the state park. Turn left there and head north, go passed the toll booth that is located in the middle of the road (make sure you purchase a day pass unless you have a annual sticker pass). Just past the booth there will be a ranger station, keep heading straight until you get to a stop sign. Keep going straight until you get to the 2 marinas, on the left that marina is a private one and the one next is the state marina which is the ramp that we will be using.
Tune in next week for tournament results pictures and fishing tips!! Let's ride Bass Bandits!!
Club Camping Weekend 2011
Well ladies and gentleman it’s time to talk about the clubs most favorite time of year, and that is the club camping weekend! To start things off the club will be heading to Lake Pudwell in South Dakota which is just below the ND borderline, and then once that battle is settled, they will head back up north to Raleigh reservoir Saturday afternoon for some club camping fun. Perhaps the most anticipated event of the year isn’t actually a fishing tournament; instead it could be one of the clubs most favorite club camping weekend traditions. What is it you ask? I’m talking about the ladder ball championships that will be held Saturday evening after the big camping supper! Last year the team of Mike (uncle) and Curtis Wentz (nephew) of Lemmon, SD were crowned champions and I’m sure they will be ready to defend their title against some fierce competition. There is no money to win, just some sweat plaques ladder ball plaques and of course a year of bragging rights. Once all the dust has settled the club will huddle around a camp fire and tell all sorts of tall fishing stories and hilarious jokes.
Then on Sunday morning at 7 a.m. (Mountain Time) the bass bandits will get their boats in the water for the Raleigh Reservoir bass tournament. Weigh in will be at 2 p.m. to conclude the tournament and the club camping weekend festivities. So far this year Mother Nature has been kind to the bandits 2 out of the 3 tournaments, hopefully she will be kind to us for a whole weekend. Last year at Raleigh there were a lot of nice bass caught and weighed in and at the end of the day Mike Wentz of Lemmon, SD was crowned champion. I’m sure he will be antsy to get to work on those nice bass that Raleigh has to offer, but I am sure he and the rest of the members will have to battle through the thick population on northern pike to get to the bass.
In case you’re unfamiliar on how to get to Lake Pudwell SD, or Raleigh Reservoir here are some directions:
Drive to Raleigh, ND which is south of Flasher, ND. Once you get to Raleigh continue SOUTH on HWY 31 to McIntosh, SD. (approx 32 miles). Once you get to the junction of HWY 12 and 31, turn LEFT and head EAST on HWY 12 for 4.5 miles. Lake Pudwell is located on the north side of the highway and is clearly visible. Turn left onto the lakes approach, and head through the cattle guard and there you will be right at the boat ramp. For directions on how to get to Raleigh, well it’s simple turn around and head straight back where you came from! HA! But seriously, its south of Flasher, ND on ND highway 31. Once you get to the town of Raleigh turn and head west and drive until you get to the main street and then turn right and head north a two blocks then turn left onto a gravel road. Head 4 miles and there will be a Park and Lake Sign there that says Raleigh Reservoir.
Hope to see you all there, if you have any questions please contact the officers.
Battle at Fish Creek Dam
Ding ding ring the bell it is tourney time again! This time around the featured lake will be Fish Creek dam located in Morton county, ND. Fish creek Dam is a small lake at 52 acres but big on potential, it is absolutly loaded with tons of smallmouth bass and a pretty healthy population of Largemouth Bass also. It is a deep lake with an average depth of 18 feet and a maximun depth of 50 feet and has 2.3 miles of shoreline.
Fish Creek Dam is typically very clear water but with all the recent rains it is probably murky at best, It has a variety of different types of structure the northern end is where the creek enters and the shallower water can be found and the middle portion and most of the western side are very deep, huge schools of smallies can usualy be found suspended on any type of structure close to deep water, there are sunken trees in this lake also, dont be surprized if ya yank out a 7lb LMB cause they are in there!
Fish Creek Dam also boast a very healthy population of trout both Rainbow and Brown and there are some big ones in there 5 lb trout are common in this lake and trout over 10 swim these waters too. it is a great lake to take a kid fishing. There is a no live bait restriction on this lake and also it is idle speed only because of the size. Please be considerate during the tourney of your fellow fisherman it is a small lake and people will be fishing next to other people, hopefully the fish cooperate and everyone has a good time!
Tourney runs from 7 AM to 2 Pm MST Saturday June 4th make sure you are at the ramp and have your boat loaded a minimum of 30 minutes prior to take off time so we can get the drawings done and take care of business.
Directions: From Interstate 94 Take exit 134 (sweetbriar exit) you will see a sign says fish creek dam, from here it is mostly all gravel road, go 8 miles south than 2 miles east than 1 mile south and you will be at the boat dock on the north end of lake. good luck everyone and well see ya on the water
Battle of the Canals!
New Johns is next on the schedule for May 21st!
Well mark it down ladies and gentleman the first tournament of the year is in the books! The Bass Bandits had a great turn out of club members on the 7th of May held at Lake Nelson, which is one of the best bass fishing lakes in North Dakota. The next stop on the tour for the Bass Bandits will be held at New Johns lake on May 21st, the Bandits will be docking out of the east park boat ramp.
New Johns lake is one of North Dakota's most premier smallmouth fisheries as well as one of the Bass Bandits favorite place to come and fish. New Johns is a large lake with lots of fishing to be had, along with the canals that connect Heckers and East Park lake together this smallmouth fishery gives anglers the opportunity to catch a bass of a lifetime! Just ask veteran Bandit angler Jeff Wetzel of Bismarck who weighed in a smallmouth that tipped the scales at a whopping 4.47lbs which was big enough to edge out Marty Mantz's largest bass of the day by .24lbs. That big smallmouth gave Wetzel the big bass award for the day along with the largest smallmouth award for the 2010 tournament season.
Well it certainly has been a long tough winter! and by the looks of things outside it is not over with quite yet! A couple days ago I was fishing out at Nelson Lake and it was 70 degrees and sunny and perfect! it was a good day, and than of course Mother Nature decided that she would hit us once again with 50 mph plus winds and some more of that yukky white stuff!
It's time people! regardless of mother nature has in store for us the tournament season starts this Saturday May the 7th at Nelson Lake located 5 miles east of Center,ND. Tournament starts at 7am MST and ends at 2 PM MST. Be at the dock early enuff that you can have your boat inspected and be launched and ready for action 30 minutes prior to the start time!
With the way the weather has been this year it looks as though we are not going to have spring? but we will fish on no matter what! Nelson is back to full pool again after being lowered for the melting snow and now filled again by the creek, water temps are really up and down changing daily with the weather, the plant is back to running full speed and pumpin out a lot of water!
Couple things to note be cautious of the bank around any high bluff areas! the soil is eroding bad this year and there have been several large landslides! twice one has occured not far from where I was fishing, do not walk on the bank anywhere on the east side that has bluffs, you could be risking your life! watch out for debris on the lake I almost hit a floating log the other day! the creek really let loose this year putting a few hazards in the lake so dont b roaring around unless your paying attention! there are softballs floating all over the place in the lake! they will make a nice little dent at full speed! for any new anglers when launching from the east boat dock go straight out into the main lake a long ways before turning, there are large rocks on your left and shallow shallow on your right.
It will be good to see everyone again! and of course any new members will be greeted warmly, Defending champ from last spring is Paul reinbold from Dickinson, I am sure he will try hard to keep his crown, but there are lots of people out there that will try to take it away! should b a great tournament with a lot of fish being caught! Janine will probably catch a big one like she always does, time for one of the youngsters to step up and show us how its done! who is it going to be?
This week weather looks to be rainy a lot of the week including a 60% chance of rain on Saturday with temps around 60 and W/NW winds around 15 mph, things could change between now and than but rain is likely so bring a good set of rain gear and some warm clothes! get out and dust the snow off your boats! spool up some fresh line, pick your favorite lures! and well see ya on the water Saturday! good luck to all
Well here we go again this time around it is on the biggest water we have faced so far this season. The tournament this week will be held on the mighty missouri river at the Beaver bay boat ramp located aprroximatly 60 miles south of Bismarck, ND along highway 1804, from Bismarck follow 1804 south till you hit the Linton Turnoff and head west approximatly 5 miles the ramp is right by the bridge in the bay. Tournament times are from 7 AM to 2 PM MST saturday August 28th.
New Johns Round 2
Club Camping Weekend
Club camping weekend is almost here! it will be this weekend the 24Th and 25Th of July to be kicked off with the first tournament at lake Audubon on Saturday the 24Th from 7 AM to 2 PM. to be followed by the tournament at East Park Lake on Sunday the 25Th from 7 AM to 2 PM.
Alan Hildebrandt with two nice bass (left) Curt Manley with a 10lb Pike (right) caught last year at Raleigh Reservoir
Nelson Lake Ice Bowl
p.s. Paul a big bird told me that bass dont like spinner baits at nelson so just go ahead and leave them all at home!
Nelson Lake May 15th!!
Joining a bass club is a life changing experience!
I have had the honor of being a part of a couple of different bass clubs for many years now. When I was 15 years old I joined a club called the ‘Dakota Sportsmen Society‘. It was a small club located in rural South Dakota with about 10-15 members. My dad and my uncle’s were a part of this club and I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to join and see what being part of a fishing club was all about! It was everything that I had wanted it to be, talking about fishing, learning about fishing, getting involved in the community, getting to know new people, and of course actually going out and going fishing! Those are the best parts of being a member in a club. When I started college and I learned that the internet was a really valuable tool for fishing. Using this valuable tool I was able to locate a bass club called the “Hub City Bass Busters,” located in Aberdeen , SD. I contacted the president and became a member. I was anxious for the first club event to learn new ways and tricks to catch bass. By joining that club not only did I become a more improved smallmouth bass angler, I met some new friends that I have shared many great fishing and hunting trips together ever since. A few years down the road it was getting harder and harder to make it to club meetings and other club events in South Dakota. To make matters worse, the state that I was living in did not have a bass club in the whole state of North Dakota, Uggg! What is a crazy bass fishing addict to do in a situation such as this? Simple, create one. In 2006 the Badlands Bass Bandits bass fishing club was created, it’s first tournament had ten members and was held at Raleigh Reservoir. Since then the bass club has been growing steadily ever since. But why? Why would joining a bass fishing club be so great? What is the point? The simplest answer would be “join our club and find out.” But for those of you who have never been part of a club here is some reasons why joining the club can be life changing.
The first reason that comes to mind would be meeting new people who love to fish like you do. When you meet club members for the first time it isn’t difficult at all to start up a conversation. Just start talking about fishing and that will start up a conversation that won’t quite until the sun goes down. Club members conversing with each other starts to build the main foundation of a club. It creates such a positive and friendly based atmosphere that will carry on the water during club tournaments and other club events. Do all clubs have this? No, not all, but the Badlands Bass Bandits do. It is a fact that our club helps other members load and unload boats during fishing events, it is a fact that our club tells other tournament anglers what the fish are biting on during club tournaments, and that is just the beginning. Since this club has started all of the members like to visit and share ideas with each other that people stay well over an hour or two after each event is done. The bass bandits also have a program called “spill the beans” after each tournament event. Spill the beans is a moment after the tournament awards are presented, the top three anglers of the tournament event have to share what they used and did to catch the winning fish. This is a huge learning curve for everyone, even for the winners of that tournament.
Another great side of joining a fishing club, is the friendship that you create with other people on and off the water. Our club camping weekend that is held annually is a huge hit. Club members bring food for the pot luck after day one of our tournament for that weekend and we all feast and visit. One of the top events for that evening is the “ladder ball” championship, where club members team up with each other and try to be the top dog of the game! It’s gotten so popular we had to start making trophies for this event. Another example of friendship would be my Christmas experience for this year.
I was traveling to South Dakota for Christmas and got stuck in Lemmon due to a bad snow storm. Immediately after I checked into my hotel room there was a knock at the door. When I opened the door there stood Mike Wentz with a box full of his wife’s Christmas cookies…yummy! Later on that night the gave me a call and invited my and my dog Trapper over for Christmas dinner. We had a ball that night eating good food and talking about fishing and the highlights of our bass fishing club. I could go on and on about how great the Badlands Bass Bandits club is or any other club for that matter. But, I just wanted to give people an inside story on what they might be missing out on. If you are interested in joining our club or any other club contact the club’s president and get started today!
The Skinny...on the Truth!
The Badlands Bass Bandits bass fishing club consists of all different types of anglers. Some are topwater fishermen, some are tube fishermen, and some are power fishermen, the list goes on and on. At the end of each season there are a few that shine in the end to earn an award. Perhaps the most prestigious is the Angler of the Year title, or the seasons Classic Champion. But there is one award that maybe the most overlooked award that proves to be the most important one of all. Have you guess it yet? Well, if you said the “Horizon Award,” then your right! Over the course of the club’s three year history the anglers who receive the Horizon Award prove to be one of the clubs tournament contenders the following tournament season. Want proof? Okay here is a little club history lesson. But, first let’s discuss what the Horizon Award exactly is. In 2006 when the club was first born, club President and founder Paul Reinbold wanted to create an award that would reward the anglers who have improved their fishing skills the most during the course of a tournament season. Variables that are taken in consideration of earning this award was attendance to tournaments, point accumulation, # of fish caught and weighed- in versus previous years, as well as final point standings from previous years.
In, 2006 the first two club members to receive this award was Jeff Wetzel and John Meyer. These to anglers kept on improving their fishing skills at each tournament since the very first one of that year, and it showed during the weigh-ins at each tournament. The following two years Jeff Wetzel became a factor at each tournament by posting several top 5 finishes as well as a couple top 3 finishes. He continues to show progress every season and is getting closer and closer to an Angler of the Year title. Then in 2007 our Horizon Award winners were Matt (Gunsmoke Dillion) Jahner and Lyle Weber aka Lyle “the damn” Weber. Matt and Lyle had greatly improved their bass fishing skills since the 2006 season and were contenders at a few tournaments in 2007. Lyle posted a 2nd place finish at the “Battle of the Canals” tournament at New Johns Lake as well as a strong 3rd place finish at the Classic Championship. Not, only did Lyle place in a few tournaments but the 2007 season was also his first season where he weighed – in his first limit of bass at a tournament. Matt Jahner also had a great 2007 season placing a couple of top 5 finishes and coming close a couple of times to winning the big bass award. Oh, what might have been Matt if you had been only using Stren fishing line two years ago! Ha Ha Ha! But don’t worry everyone Matt has learned to buy quality fishing line which is probably why he won the Lake Audubon tournament in 2008. Not to mention Matt did land the big fish honors there as well. His 2008 season final standings were just outside of the top five which was a huge improvement compared to previous standings.
So there you have it two years of proof why winning the Horizon Award is just as important as any other award. The numbers and the results don’t lie! So what will our 2008 class of Horizon Award winners Jason Bader and Geo Wentz bring us? A Classic Title? Angler of the Year Title? It’s going to be an exciting year, and you can bet that these two anglers will be contenders at tournaments. But, one thing is for certain we will all be there fishing and having a good time and you can too!!!
2009 Was A Year To Remember
The 2009 season had the most closest Angler of the Year and Rookie of the Year race ever in club history. Paul Reinbold of Dickinson took home the Angler of the Year award, this was Reinbold's second time capturing this award. The first time he had won this award was back in 2006 when the club was first established. Reinbold edged out former AOY winner Janine Wetzel and Robert Reinbold by a few points. Bringing home the bacon for the Rookies' was Marty Mantz of Center, who claimed the Rookie of the year title. Mantz edged out fellow club member Lance Hildebrandt of Faith, SD by a couple of points. Marty also took home an award no other Rookie has ever done in club history. Mantz also won the 2009 Classic Championship award back in September. He won it by catchin 8.88lbs of a three fish limit, convincingly beating out the rest of the pack by a 7.50 lbs 2nd place finish by Paul Reinbold. Other awards that were earned during the 2009 season was the Biggest Largemouth and Biggest Smallmouth awards. Which were both won by Janine Wetzel of Mandan. Wetzel caught the 5.50 lbs largemouth during the Lake Nelson tournament back in the spring of May, and she also caught this years biggest smallmouth at Indian Creek Dam back in June that weighed 3.90lbs. Wetzel also captured this year Bag Buster Award which awards the angler who caught the heaviest one day tournament for the year. Janine's one day total weight was 9.86lbs. Coming home with this years 2009 Horizon Award winners were Curtis Wentz of Lemmon, SD and Deryk Voller of Dickinson ND. The horizon award honors the club members who are the most improved over the course of their membership. Last but definetly not least is our 2009 Fish Hater Award winner. This year award went to Mike Wentz of Lemmon, SD. Mike earned this award by not weighing in a single fish all season long, but managed to weigh in a couple during the last event of the season but still edged out the competition to win this award. BETTER LUCK NEXT YEAR MIKE! Of course this award is all in fun and is greatly appreciated by our members:)
Another event that was new this year was the Presidents Club Records. Club members used special club rulers to report their longest 3 largemouth and smallmouth for the year. There were two categories; smallmouth and largemouth each category winner received a $150 rod n reel combo from bass pro shops. This years winners were Dick Roland of Crosby, ND for the largemouth division and Geo Wentz of Lemmon, SD won the smallmouth division. Out of 3 bass Roland's total measurment was 58.5 inches and Geo total measurement was 53 inches. Congradulations to both of our winners!
After all of this years champions were crowned and the champaign bottles were empty there were some changes made for the 2010 season. Next year the Bass Bandits will be heading to the Missouri River in Bismarck to hold one of their tournament events! This will be exciting event because none of them have ever fished it for bass! I can't wait to see the results. There were also some changes in the club officer positions, our new Tournament Directors for 2010 will be Robert Reinbold and Janine Wetzel. Our new Secretary and website article author will be Marty Mantz, our youth directors will be John Campbell and Paul Reinbold and our new Vice President will be Jeff Wetzel and our new Club President will be Geo Wentz. This is a beginning of a new era for the club, never before has there been a change in Presidency, but I am very excited because the club picked a great club member to lead this club in the right direction. Geo has been a long time club member and has always show his love for the club day in and day out. We are all excited for the new things to come for the club in 2010 and can't wait for the first event! Thanks for stopping by and checking us out, if you are interested in our club please feel free to contact one of our club officers. Until then....GET THE NET!
Lake Nelson is one of North Dakota’s premier bass fisheries in the state. Thanks to the power plant that uses water from Lake Nelson to cool itself, the lake is open all year. This provides anglers the opportunity to fish open during North Dakota’s frigid winter months. Not only does Nelson provide open water fishing, it also provides record setting largemouth bass due to the warm water conditions. This is one of the Bass Bandits favorite lakes to fish, because it gives the club a chance to fish earlier in the season compared to other bass lakes in North Dakota. This lake serves as a cure for the Bass Bandits cabin fever due to the winter months See last seaon's results at Lake Nelson