New flights just announced to favorite vacation destination

New flights just announced to favorite vacation destination

Frontier is offering special introductory fares as low as $59 one-way between Orlando and Des Moines today only at Additionally, customers have the choice of adding a special bundle to these special sale fares for as low as $59 each way.

“We are delighted Frontier Airlines will offer a low-cost option to Florida from Des Moines. Orlando is a popular travel destination from Central Iowa and a nonstop flight on Frontier will make the trip even more attractive,” said Executive Director, Kevin Foley.

The special bundle is available at at time of initial booking; prices range from $49 to $69 each-way, based on round-trip purchase, and includes one carry-on bag, one checked bag, best available seat including Stretch and Exit Row options, full refundability when canceled at least 24 hours prior to scheduled departure, no change fees and priority boarding.

Flights from Des Moines and Orlando will depart on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Huxley man shares story of becoming a pro fisherman

Huxley man shares story of becoming a pro fisherman

“May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it. “

~Irish Blessing

Lance Baker of Huxley is living his dream.

When Lance was 6 years old, he started on his dream. It all began with his security blanket and his dad, a professional fishing guide on the Tennessee River, in a boat.

“I would get in the boat, early in the morning, with my dad,” tells Baker. “My dad was a guide on that river for 35 years, and still is. I would get my blanket and hunker down in the boat. I grew up on that great Tennessee River and I still love going back there to fish today.”

Baker has worked hard over the years to acquire his status in the fishing world.

He was born and raised in east Tennessee. A family move to Iowa transplanted him to Newton in 1996 when his step-dad, a Maytag executive, was transferred. Baker decided to study telecommunications at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, entered the communications field in 2004 and quickly landed his current position with Huxley Communications. Now married and the father of two daughters, his family calls Huxley their home.

And, he had the opportunity to become the Bass Pro Fisherman in the Altoona location.

He tells of growing up on the Tennessee River and how his life evolved around fishing.

“How crazy that is,” he talks about that time in his life. “A lot of kids were involved in sports and I tried them all, but I just wasn’t big enough to play sports, so I fished and studied. I spent all my free time fishing with my dad. He taught me how to read the water and tie hooks. That time in my life also taught me how, at a young age, to adapt to different personalities and how to accommodate different types of people when I was with my dad as he guided his clients on the river.”

Baker has carried those life lessons he learned on the Tennessee River to his current life. He owns the status and title of Professional Angler and Bass Pro Shops Pro Staffer. He is currently working his way through the competition of the high-profile Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Fishing Tour.

“There are two types of fishing,” he explains. “Recreational fishing where you go, fish and relax; and 100 percent competition, a drive to me, no different than being on the football field competing. They are both competition and I love the rush of fishing competitively.”

Baker admits that the travel involved in professional fishing is exhausting, being up every morning at 4:30 a.m., standing up fishing for 8 to 10 hours a day, and when the physical end of competition catches up, the mental exhaustion is soon to kick in as well.

Dreaming of becoming a professional fisherman and actually accomplishing that dream are miles and years apart. How did it all begin?

“When we moved to Iowa in 1996, I met Bill Heverly,” tells Baker. “I was 18 years old and really into fishing. I became friends with Bill, who grew up fishing small tournaments here in Iowa and I started to tag along with him. We did local level competitions for about 10 years. Here in Iowa, it wasn’t about the money you could win, but more about the competition.”

In 2010, Baker started fishing in the Bass Circuit, the Iowa Premier Bass Competition. He was able to land some sponsors and eventually approached Bass Pro for a position.

This, according to Baker, is where it all really began.

“In 2011 I became one of two local Bass Pro fishermen,” he said. “Kary Ray is the other one. We partnered up and for two years we fished the Mississippi River. He taught me a lot in one year. He told me that I had what it takes to make it work. So we became co-anglers in competition together. That allowed me to fish behind some really good guys, who taught me so much.”

Most competitions are three to four days in length. They involve catching and keeping the five biggest fish each day. They are weighed at the end of each day and then released. The fisherman with the biggest weight total wins. Simple enough? Maybe not so simple as it sounds.

“We have to follow the fish to where they go,” Baker tells. “The Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) is for bass fishing competition. All the fish that we catch are eventually released. Finding them means following the fish and being able to see where they are under the water. In the summer they go deep where the oxygen is better – the fish all congregate near structures and they draw in the predator fish. Bass are the predator fish.”

Baker explained that there are three levels in the FLW, which involve five separate fishing competition events. You have to keep winning and advancing to qualify for the FLW Tour in hopes of finishing in the top 10.

Over the past four years, Baker has done just that.

“Fishing competitively is pretty much like learning to crawl before you walk,” he commented.

In 2016, Baker will begin the next level of fishing competition. He sites the flexibility of his employer, Huxley Communications, and his sponsors Bass Pro, Daiwa, Picasso, Lowrance, Berkley and Chase, that help with entry fees.

“I have had a dream of doing this, and I am pursuing it,” said Baker. “I love working with people and being around people. I want my family and my community to know that I am always there for them. They have always been here for me and now I want to be there for them.”

“Starting on the right path to a dream brings about loyalty of people to help fulfill that dream,” he said. “My dad started me on that path and he has been the one that has impacted my life and my accomplishments.”

If fishing is your passion, for either relaxation or competition, be sure to keep an eye on our local pro. He is quickly making his way up through the ranks to capture his dream.

He may be a very soft-spoken guy, with a bit of a southern twang in his voice, but he is one of the most aggressive fishermen in Story County.

“I am here to give back,” he added. “I am happy to help out by doing seminars, helping with charity fundraising events, making Bass Pro Shops appearances – just give me a call.”

Best kids fishing event Bass fishing pros Lance Baker, Kary Ray at Bass pro shops

Best kids fishing event Bass fishing pros Lance Baker, Kary Ray at Bass pro shops

Lance and Kary entertained while educating the many kids about fishing at the Bass Pros Shop Altoona Iowa store. Giving out whistles to the kids so they could blow on them when a fish bit was a novel idea that the kids loved. Promoting the great outdoors and having fun in it is what it’s all about. Good job guys.
Angling for Free Fishing Videos? Here is a video on Fishing Tips and Tricks, I do video on many species such as Catfish, Walleye, Muskie, Northern, Panfish, Salmon to include most freshwater and some saltwater fish. Information good from Fishing Pro to Novice angler will like this instruction where you can Discover Fishing when you are on the hunt for big fish. I will be talking about Fish, Fishing, Outdoors, lures, boats, motors, rods, reels, Bass, Boating, and wildlife.

Tournament Talk – Our 2013 Okoboji Champions

Tournament Talk – Our 2013 Okoboji Champions

By: Lance Baker, Bass Pro Shops Altoona Pro StaffLance Baker and Carl Vogel

The first weekend in May has become a tradition over the last few years for my friend, and Berkley Pro, Carl Vogel and I to head to Lake Okoboji and battle with some of the best anglers that Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin have to offer for the annual Okoboji Open.

This year, 53 teams set out for a title that is as hard to earn as it is deal with the wind in northwest Iowa.  Carl called me while my Bass Pro Shops pro staff partner Kary Ray and I were at the river last weekend and advised me to be ready for some cold weather and a good bite…and man he wasn’t kidding!  Vogel has become one of the top anglers on Okoboji and Spirit Lake and when he says that, I know the time is right!

We practiced for two solid days in the absolute worst cold, wet, conditions this old southern boy has ever seen and it was miserable! We managed to put two solid patterns together and figured we could get a solid 15 to 17 lbs out of it.  But, for Vogel that wasn’t gonna cut it. He sat down and told me he had a game plan that if the conditions were right we could possibly not only win, but catch the biggest bag of fish that either one of us had ever weighed on that lake. We had a tough decision to make, but me knowing his history up there I put 100% confidence and faith in his thoughts and prayed to the fish gods to let it work!

Blast off came and went and we put our heads down and stuck exactly to his plan and, guys and gals, let me tell you — you had to see it to believe it. The fury of the biggest bass in Lake Okoboji began to make a move and they came to exactly where he planned!  Through the netting, boat flipping, hooting, hollering, man hugs, and high fives…3:00 p.m. weigh-in was five minutes away.  Carl and I sat down for the first time of the day and simply were in disbelief of what had just happened and to be honest it still hasn’t set in.  As we were trailered to the weigh-in, we heard that 16.93 was leading and a 5+ was leading big bass. As the truck came to a stop and we both reached down in the livewells and grabbed two of our biggest fish and lifted them to the crowd, the feeling began to set in, “We’ve done this!” Our bag hit the scale and our best five of the day went for a huge 21.74 pounds and a big bass kicker of 6.33!

Family, friends, sponsors, and fans…that moment was the reason we get up and do this everyday.  All your well wishes and support crowned Vogel and I as the 2013 OKOBOJI OPEN CHAMPIONS!  Thank you everyone for giving us the patience, equipment, and support to make this dream come true.

And, Mr. Vogel when you read this, “THANK YOU for letting me share a day with you that will go down in the record books!”