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Spending a night with the Park Rapids Bass club

Larry and Tanner Stromback fish for bass. (Gary Korsgaden / For the Enterprise)

By Gary Korsgaden / For the Enterprise

Tuesday nights for Larry Stromback and his 13 year old son Tanner from Park Rapids, is a time to do what they both love, fish bass and compete with the other 16 to 18 two person teams in one of the eight Park Rapids Bass fishing club league events held last Tuesday on Eleventh Crow Wing Lake.

Strombacks offered me a chance to ride along.

At a little after 5 p.m. number of boats were getting ready for the 6 p.m. take off. Preparations included checking for aquatic invasive species by two certified inspectors, who also are competing fisherman in the league; throwing $30 plus an optional $10 for big bass, into a pot to be split at the end of night by the top placing teams; checking live wells and storage compartments prior to launch.

“It’s quality time each week Tanner and I have set aside to fish together. My fishing started with my grandpa,” Stromback added. The only husband and wife team of Suzie and Ken Barr and current Bass Club President handles the weigh in and the administrative duties of the league.

Suzie Barr likes the Tuesday night league.

“I can spend time with my husband doing what we both enjoy doing, bass fishing.” Local fishing guide Jason Durham enjoys the social time with other anglers and spending time with his 17 year old step son AJ.

“Most nights I have already spent eight hours or more guiding clients on area lakes; however the three hours of fishing on league night is time I can spend with AJ.” 

We were the 16th boat on the list to take off, eager to get going, to areas on a practice day in which Stromback had located a number of bass. Springing into action, pitching a variety of artificial baits. Larry connected immediately on a 14” fish, which at the end of night would be their only fish.

Time went by quickly,  watching the Strombacks work docks and shallow weeds searching for bass. Tanner chuckled when I told him about the largest bass I had ever caught in my life, using a jig slipped through the cracks on the dock of my parents’ lake home. The only problem was trying to land it, I told him.

At 9 p.m. everyone came in to weigh their five best bass (which must be released back alive to qualify) swap stories about methods and where successful teams found their fish. In any competition there are some that fare better than others.

I told Tanner his turn will come.