EVENT RECAP: 1st Annual Iowa BHA Bluegill Bash

The Iowa Chapter of BHA held the inaugural BHA Bluegill Bash on Saturday, June 15th to kick off Father's Day weekend. This event took place at Hickory Grove Lake, which was chosen not only for its proximity to Des Moines and Ames but also for the lake’s beautiful setting and excellent fishing.

Despite challenging weather conditions that day, we had a strong turnout of over 40—including many families. For lunch, guests were served crowd-pleasing hot venison sandwiches in the style of Philly cheesesteaks made from no less than sixteen slow cooked deer shanks. Once fishing started, anglers caught over 100 fish during the course of the day, with 50 of the most respectable bluegills being saved and finding their way into the frying pan.  Once cleaned, those panfish supplied the whole event with a second meal of wild, Iowa-grown protein. Everyone that returned to the shelter after fishing was wearing a smile. Attendees swapped stories with each other while watching fish get measured for the Big Bluegill Contest. Two fishermen landed identical 9.25” gills, so the winner was ultimately decided in a rock-paper-scissors showdown between each competitor’s youngest children.

While chewing on deep fried fish tacos, attendees awaited the results of our many raffle prizes generously provided by our great partners at Fishpond, Benchmade, Striker, Weston, and Simms. After guests left with full bellies, mild sunburns, and often a prize or two—board members reflected on the success of the day, all agreeing that the BHA Bluegill Bash will certainly be a recurring Father’s Day weekend tradition.  

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