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I headed to Iowa’s Great Lakes Region to fish the Okoboji lakes with John Grosvenor ( John fishes for just about everything (walleye, musky, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and trophy bluegill, to name a few), so he seemed like the perfect guide to target a variety of species.

The nice fall weather I had had in Kansas and Nebraska was finally giving way to winter when I got to Iowa. Winds were between 10 and 20 MPH, with gusts of 33 MPH, and the temperature was around freezing when we started. Fortunately, John was able to put me on a number of different fish. I caught walleye, yellow perch, bluegill, and yellow bass. I had never caught a yellow bass before, but I caught several that day, including an 11.5-inch trophy.

My successful trophy trip in Iowa followed my successful trophy trips in Kansas and Nebraska, and my trophy yellow bass was the third different Master Angler Award I received in three different species in those three states. In coming years, I would add trophy fish in Illinois, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. I also caught unofficial trophy fish in Indiana and Michigan, making the Midwest my most successful trophy fishing region, with trophy fish in 10 of the 12 Midwestern states.

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