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This past week has been an exciting week in Illinois High School athletics: Finals of the 5th Illinois State High School Bass Fishing Championships were held on Lake Carlyle in west central Illinois this past weekend, two exciting days of completion for these high school athletes.

Over 250 schools have been competing this past year in order to qualify for the tournament. Two weeks ago 22 sectional tournaments were held with 8-10 teams competing in each. Three out of the total of 52 teams that qualified to fish for the state title were from our area: New Trier HS, Niles-North HS and Notre Dame College Prep.

The tournaments scheduled for the Chain-O-Lakes were compelled to move to Busse Woods Lake to compete because of the flooding and high water at the original sites. New Trier won its sectional on Busse Woods with three bass weighing 8.12 pounds. The team from Grayslake-North High School boated four bass weighing 12.53 lbs for first place, and Huntley High School finished second with four bass weighing 9.6 lbs. Eleven bass weighing over 30 pounds – not bad for a Cook County Forest Preserve lake right in our backyard.

The finals were May 3 and 4, but the IHSA has not posted the winners as of this writing. They will be included next time.

And while on this subject, the question arises as to why ETHS has not been in this competition. New Trier had a team, Niles-North, Niles-West, Maine-East, Maine-West and Regina Dominican all competed. There are surely people at ETHS who like to fish – this lack of a team calls for discussion. ETHS, too, should be in the competition for the state bass fishing title.

On the local fishing scene, Lovelace Park and the City Youth Fishing Program officially opened this weekend. The Evanston Ecology Center has more information on this great program.

Some bad news is the Church Street launch is not open yet. Hopefully that will change soon; the smallmouth bass along the North Shore are safe for a little while yet, but when the ramp opens, they had better watch out.

Until next time keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.