Ben Leal

Program Director (Iowa)

Ben On Ice with a perch

Ben Leal resides in Norwalk Iowa and has been an Iowa resident for 12 years. He cut his fishing teeth while living in New Mexico, chasing after rainbow, and brown trout in the cool mountain streams in the northern reaches on the Red River, San Juan River, Rio Grande River and many others. Primarily chasing after these feisty fish with a flyrod, Ben’s best was a 5lb rainbow out of a cool mountain lake close to the Colorado / New Mexico border. Once moving to Iowa Ben learned everything he could about warm water fishing. Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, all were fair game on a flyrod. “I love being able to use my flyrod to catch these great game fish. A flyrod is also a great way to keep a young boy or girl entertained when the bluegill are really biting. You can catch a bunch of fish on a small popper. I usually hook the fish and then hand off the flyrod to my son so he can drag them in”, said Leal. “It’s also a great way to hand down and continue the fishing tradition, just like my Dad did for me.”

Ben was first introduced to Recycled Fish at the inaugural Des Moines Winter Games Ice Derby three years ago. Ben has a passion for the sport of fishing whether it is chasing hungry bluegill through the ice during the winter or trying to hook that monster trophy northern pike on annual trips to Canada. In 2009, Ben joined the organization as the Tournament Director and quickly put together an ice fishing tournament for anglers living in Central Iowa, the Big Creek Hardwater Open. This year Ben’s role was expanded to include managing the On Ice Tour for the 2010-2011 season. “This has been and truly will be a lifelong experience. Managing the tour and traveling to some of the most amazing ice fishing events in the ice belts States certainly will stand out as one of life’s most memorable”, said Leal.

By trade, Ben is an electronics specialist with twenty years of experience under his belt. His other outdoor pursuits have led him to writing articles for a local magazine in Iowa called The Iowa Sportsman. He’s a published writer with over a dozen articles so far. Ben was also recently added to the list of writers for the Iowa Game & Fish magazine that is distributed nationally. The next step in Ben’s writing career would be to land an article in some of the nation’s top print magazines for game and fish. He loves the outdoors, loves to fish, and recently started to bow hunt for giant whitetail deer that reside in Iowa.

Ben continues to grow with Recycled Fish and has been recently named the Program Director, combining the role of tournament director under one hat. He’ll focus on programs such as the On Ice Tour for the 2011-2012 season as well as the very successful 24-Hour Fish-a-thon. “I really appreciate every opportunity that I’ve been given here at Recycled Fish. It’s a great relationship, and it allows me to share my passion for the outdoors, while at the same time engaging and educating anglers and outdoorsmen alike in the importance of being stewards of our lakes, rivers and streams. This sport that we love will only be here to be handed down to our children and grandchildren if we take an important role in preserving it”, said Leal. “More and more people are aware of the importance of our message because of the work that all the volunteers to for Recycled Fish. It is a real privilege and honor to be a part of such a great organization”.