Outdoor notebook: Washburn bass fishing team to host fundraiser tournament at Melvern Reservoir

Josh Rouse
Topeka Capital-Journal
The Washburn fishing team huddles together following the Kansas BASS Nation College State Championship last June on Wilson Lake. The team will look to raise money to cover travel costs and entrance fees with an upcoming fundraiser tournament in March on Melvern.

The Washburn University Fishing Club is hosting a fundraiser tournament beginning with a check-in at 6 a.m. March 20 at the Eisenhower State Park East Ramp at Melvern Reservoir.

Entry is $100 per two-person team, with a $20 optional side pot for Big Bass. Payout is 50% and 100% for the side pot. Takeoff is a safe light, with the weigh-in slated at 3 p.m. Five total live fish will be weighed.

Entry forms must be received by March 18. 

The Ichabod fishing team is in its third year of existence, with Grant Huerter taking a leadership role this year after the departure of club founder Thomas Heinen, of Topeka, who is pursuing a professional career this year on the Bassmaster Open circuit.

“Taking over the Washburn fishing team this year has been a big learning curve, but I have begun to make some of those crucial relationships with everybody at KBN, which has been a huge help," Huerter said. "I really hope to make more of a name for the Washburn fishing team this year and gain more state and regional recognition this season."

Huerter, a new addition last season, will fish alongside veteran teammate Jake Brunton this year. Brunton was Heinen's teammate last season, while Huerter fished alongside Joshua Geither. They are hoping to raise money to cover travel expenses as they compete across the U.S.

"The Carhartt Bassmaster College Series does not have a schedule in our favor, but we hope to make it to at least two of those events," Huerter said. "This year our main focus is the MLF College Fishing Series in the Central Conference, which kicks off March 26. Ultimately, our goal is to qualify for the national championship."

Those wishing to enter may fill out a form online at https://bit.ly/3aweemG or mailing a completed form to Grant Huerter, 23905 W. 50th Terrace, Shawnee, KS 66226.

"Throughout this season, we will do our best to continue the growth of the competitive bass fishing scene as it is continually improving here in Kansas, with quality bodies of water and many opportunities for both youth and adult anglers," Huerter said. "We have begun this mission with our fundraiser tournament next month and we encourage everybody to come support us and compete for a check of their own. We are looking forward to seeing many other local anglers who share the same passion as us.”

For more information on the team, call 913-620-2813 or email gphuerter@yahoo.com.


PKC coon dog event on tap

An upcoming event in northeast Kansas will look to bring coon dogs from across the state to compete.

The Professional Kennel Club Legacy Series Open Event is slated to take place Feb. 20 on the Osage City Fairgrounds, located at the intersection of Martin and Stafford. Entry is $100, with a $25 reservation fee required at the time the reservation is booked and $75 due at the time the entry is confirmed on site.

Lane Ikerd, of the Flint Hills Coon Hunters club based out of Osage City, is one of the organizers of the event. He said the tournament hit its minimum requirements for the competition to take place this past week with 24 dogs entered. The maximum number of dogs that can be registered is 36.

“How it works is we will randomly draw the 24 or more dogs into casts, which are groups of either three or four dogs," Ikerd said. "With those four dogs, you will have a judge who will keep track of the scores and time of the four dogs. For the early round, the dogs will have 90 minutes to hunt. When they get to the location the guide decides to hunt, they will start the time and turn the dogs loose.”

The scoring system is as follows: the first dog that barks will receive 100 points, the second 75, the third 50 and the fourth 25.

“The handler of the dog needs to call his dog strike, which is when the dog should be smelling a coon on the ground/track,” Ikerd said. “Whenever the dog has a coon up a tree, the owner will then tree his dog and it is the same points for first through fourth.”

The six dogs that win their casts will then get randomly drawn again in groups of three, he said. The final two who win their late-round cast will be the winners of the hunt. 

“They will get paid between $390 and $490, depending on number of entries, and the dogs who won their early round but lost in the late will get roughly $110,” he said.

For those interested in competing, contact Ikerd at 620-794-4714 or Jerrold Parker at 620-343-0760.