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FIGHTING SPIRIT: Spirit Lake’s playoff run ends with district loss to No. 3 West Lyon


Spirit Lake’s boys basketball team hung with third-ranked West Lyon into the fourth quarter of Tuesday night’s Class 2A district championship, but the Wildcats outscored the Indians 18-3 in the final 6 minutes and 29 seconds to advance to the substate round and end the Indians’ season. West Lyon topped Spirit Lake 65-45 in Orange City.

Ice Hole Festival leads to recreational ice diving certification

As the ice fishing season was pretty much drawing to an end on the Iowa Great Lakes on the second weekend of February, my son, who was fishing off Triboji on the north end of West Okoboji, told me about a bunch of people off Pike’s Point.

My first thought was maybe a late perch bite, because my son said they appeared to be out in pretty deep water. However, he told me, “But, Dad, they didn’t act like ice fishermen. They were all kind of bunched up in a group.”

What’s my line for fishing?

It’s this time of year when people who fish gather in a variety of locations. It might be at a sportshow, maybe a fishing seminar, sometimes at a bait shop. The talk will start with current subjects like the Super Bowl, college basketball, families, or almost anything else.

Eventually the conversation will turn to fishing. In late winter and early spring, fishing equipment will be a popular topic. One area that gets lots of attention is fishing line.  

Beardsley wins first place in photo contest

The results for the 14th Annual Keep Iowa Beautiful Photography Contest are in. Local resident Bill Beardsley won the Keep Iowa Beautiful Social Media Favorite Award. Entitled “Majestic Sunrise,” the photo captures the morning beauty of Big Spirit Lake. Judges noted: “Taken in Dickinson County, Iowa, this photo truly captures the beauty of our state.”

Eager paddlers encouraged to wait for warmer weather

The weather is starting to feel like spring, but water temperatures are still dangerously cold.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recommends that paddlers wait for consistent warm weather to allow the water temperatures to rise slowly. It could be several weeks before water temperatures are ideal and safe as water and air temperatures continue to change.

WELL DONE: Okoboji/HMS’ Tyce Hanson goes 2-2 at state wrestling tournament


Okoboji/HMS 126-pounder Tyce Hanson ended a stellar junior season with a memorable performance at the 2024 Iowa High School State Wrestling Championships held Wednesday-Saturday, Feb. 14-17 at Wells Fargo Arena — commonly referred to as ‘The Well’ — in Des Moines.

SLP’s Dunn, Wittrock compete at state wrestling tournament


Spirit Lake Park teammates Levi Dunn and Landon Wittrock represented the Indians last week at Wells Fargo Arena during the 2024 IHSAA State Wrestling Championships held Wednesday-Saturday, Feb. 14-17 in Des Moines.

Both wrestlers went 0-2 in the tournament.

END OF THE ROAD: Spirit Lake’s girls basketball season ends with championship loss to No. 1 Midgets


Indians advance to district championship with pair of playoff wins

Spirit Lake’s boys basketball team earned playoff wins over Sheldon and Lawton-Bronson to advance to the Class 2A district championship against No. 3 West Lyon on Tuesday, Feb. 20. The Indians topped the Orabs 62-47 Monday, Feb. 12 in Spirit Lake and earned a narrow 49-46 win over the Eagles Thursday, Feb. 15 in Lawton.

Wolves’ hoops season ends with loss to George-Little Rock

After picking up a first-round playoff win over Gehlen Catholic, Harris-Lake Park’s girls basketball season ended with a second-round loss to George-Little Rock in the Class 1A regional tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 13. The Mustangs jumped out to a 30-16 halftime lead and never looked back in a 50-32 win over the Wolves in George.

Harris-Lake Park boys drop playoff game to Mustangs

Harris-Lake Park’s boys basketball season came to a close with a first-round loss to War Eagle Conference foe George-Little Rock in the Class 1A district tournament held Monday, Feb. 12. The Mustangs took advantage of a poor shooting performance by the Wolves, outscoring Harris-Lake Park 44-17 over the final three quarters of a 63-29 win in George.

Boji boys’ season ends with first-round loss to Rockets

Okoboji’s boys basketball season came to an end with a loss to Siouxland Conference foe Rock Valley in the opening round of the Class 2A district tournament held Monday, Feb. 12. After playing to a 33-28 lead in the first half, the Rockets outscored the Pioneers 24-10 in the third quarter and held on for a 66-53 victory in Rock Valley.

What’s it take to get a Master Angler award?

I am often asked what it takes to get a Master Angler award in the state of Iowa. My answer is usually, “Well, I’m not sure, but I think you can find it on the Iowa DNR website.”

Plastic or live?

Those of us who have fished a long time have seen many changes and advancements in the equipment and the baits that we use when we’re trying to catch a fish. One of the changes that has affected many of us is the development of plastic baits and their place in the world of fishing. It wasn’t so long ago that many fishing guides or walleye tournament contestants, when they had to catch fish, were adamant that live bait was the ticket.  

Iowa DNR planning annual spring prescribed burns in the Iowa Great Lakes region

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will be conducting prescribed burns within selected wildlife complexes in Dickinson, O’Brien, Lyon and Sioux counties between March 1 and May 20 to improve wildlife habitat, control invasive plant species, and maintain native plant communities.

Water summary update: statewide conditions improve

January’s above-normal snowfall has improved drought conditions across the state, according to the latest Water Summary Update.

January saw 1.97 inches of precipitation, more than twice the normal amount for the month. The state has received above-average precipitation in three of the last four months. Since October 2023 statewide precipitation has been 7.24 inches, or 106 percent of normal.

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