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The Illinois State High School Bass Fishing Championship Tournament is over. After two days of hard fishing and many two-day limits of fish, the young (three sophomores) team from Highland High School in downstate Illinois near Bellevue prevailed to become this year’s IHSA State Champions. Congratulations to all 43 high school teams that qualified and competed. This tournament just gets better each year.

Free fishing days have started for Evanston youth at Lovelace Park. Every Saturday morning from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. the City provides equipment, bait and instruction at no charge. The opening weekend was pretty exciting for one young angler; he was able to land a very nice 12-inch crappie and practiced C.P.R. (Catch, Photograph, Release), so that another young person could enjoy that feeling as well.

Now, before anyone gets too excited, that crappie was not supposed to be in Lovelace Pond. Someone several years ago tossed the fish into the pond and it’s survived. There are plenty of bluegills and catfish for the kids to enjoy catching and releasing.

The Evanston and Tower Road boat ramps opened this past weekend allowing local fisherman easy access to their favorite fishing on Lake Michigan. The lake has been pretty churned up from the past week’s weather and the reports are that the perch have been scattered because of it. Last week good reports were coming in of limit catches on nice 10- to 14-inch perch in an hour or two, but since the storms rolled through – no such luck. Everyone’s hoping that the perch will school up again now that the weather has calmed down.

Due to the large amount of rain, all the local fishing spots will have high dirty water. That means fish close to shore and cover, and use bright colors so the fish can see the bait. Good luck out there fishing. Until next time … keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.