Catching a bass in select rivers could win you a gift card

Catching black bass is great recreation but it also can line your wallet, provided you fish — and catch — in the right spots.
The DNR has tagged more than 400 largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass in central and northern Indiana rivers as part of an ongoing study to learn more about angler harvest and fish movement.

Anglers who catch tagged bass can earn gift cards to Bass Pro Shop for $5, $10 or $25 by reporting their catches and returning tags to DNR biologists. All bass were tagged on the lip with a metal tag that has an identification number. Tags must be removed and sent in for prizes to be claimed.

One-hundred-sixty bass were tagged in the West Fork of the White River (Madison, Hamilton and Marion counties) from near Perkinsville downstream to the West Raymond Street Bridge.

The St. Joseph River (St. Joseph and Elkhart counties) had 156 tagged bass. Tagged fish are distributed from Bristol to the Indiana-Michigan border.

Manchester University tagged 87 smallmouth bass on the Eel River (Wabash, Miami and Cass counties) from South Whitley downstream to Logansport.

Tagged bass do not have to be harvested to receive a reward, but anglers must remove the tag. To report tagged catches, call the phone number listed on the tag, (812) 287-8300.

The project is a partnership between the DNR and Indiana Wildlife Federation, Reel Women-Reel Men of Indianapolis, Indy Flycasters, St. Joseph River Valley Fly Fishers, Indiana Smallmouth Alliance and Manchester College, who are providing administrative and financial assistance.

For more information, contact Sandy Clark-Kolaks at (812) 287-8300 or

Ice Out Small Pond Bass

Thank God spring is finally in the air. For most of the country, this has been a winter for the record books. Ice is going to be slowly disappearing from lakes and ponds all over the Midwest and some of the best fishing of the year is getting ready to start. Bass fishing especially picks up even before the ice is completely off of the water. There are a few tricks on smaller bodies of water for those early season bass. With a little luck, you just might catch your biggest fish of the year before the season really even gets started.

Slow Rolling a G&G Bait Company Original

Slow Rolling a G&G Bait Company Original

First off, when it comes to bass fishing these early season ponds, focusing on the north end will put you right where the fish will be. This area receives the most sunlight throughout the day so naturally this section will be the warmest. Since this side is the warmest, it will also have the most active early spring life such as insects, lizards, frogs, etc. Bass will be right there up against the shoreline in that warmer water too trying to put on weight while getting ready for spawn. Read more