The 2016 Illinois State High School Bass Championship is history. Sixty-eight high schools from across the State of Illinois qualified to compete for the State Championship on Lake Carlyle on May 20 and 21.  At the final weigh-in two schools from small downstate communities showed the rest of the state how it was done.

First place was won by Elkville High School with 21+ pounds of bass. Second and third places went to the two teams from Highland High School – Team 1 with 15 lbs. of bass and Team 2 with 14.5 lbs. of bass.

Congratulations to these high school State Champions and hooray to the State of Illinois for the continued support of bass fishing as a certified State high school sport.

Fishing on our area lakes is requiring many of us to change our late spring approach to bait choice. Although shore weeds arrive early, we don’t usually see these weeds until late June or early July. This means we can put away the crank baits – which will not run through the weeds, but which are usually the bait of choice in late spring – and rig up the plastic worms and frogs to run through the weeds or on top of them.

All of our lake reports indicated this same decision by the anglers: Beck Lake was producing bass on 5-inch plastic worms. Busse Woods reported good activity for bass, northern and walleye. Skokie Lagoons reports stressed the need to find the non-weedy areas to cast to. Lake Glenview has been producing, perch, northern and small bass, and reports from Lake Michigan harbors has been that the smallmouth bass have been really active and aggressive with lots of 2- or 3-lb. fish being caught.

I have been seeing numerous reports that the bass are on the spawning beds in many of our lakes. This would be a great time to go bluegill fishing and allow the bass to have an uninterrupted spawn producing lots of small fish for generations to come, just a thought. Until next time…keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.