Sunday, May 20, 2018

Pinckneyville High School wins IHSA Bass Fishing State Championship

Boats manufactured by Crestliner, Bass Tracker, Phoenix, Skeeters and others waited for take off at Carlyle Lake for the 10th Illinois High School Association (IHSA) State Bass Fishing Championship. After rain delays Friday and the bitter taste of a goose egg by many schools, anglers were anxious and determined to hit the water and give it another shot.  For the top schools, determination, patience and faith in their plan were fresh in their minds.

IHSA State Finals at Carlyle Lake

First, let me congratulate all those anglers and schools that made it to the state championship. It takes hours of casting, trips to local sporting good stores, and studying of lake maps off the water that led to these great accomplishments for all of you this year. 

"I've learned a lot this year from fishing both on and off the water" said Aidan Kolb from Nazareth Academy.   "You have to know how to cast well and tie knots and get back in the water as fast as possible." he continued.    "It's mental, I think about it a lot and prepare all my stuff." said his teammate Marty McNamara.  I was able to talk to these two as they waited for their other teammates to come in and swap for half the day. 

Throughout the rest of the day, I had the opportunity to chat with several anglers and coaches on the water.  "This is their third year qualifying for state" said boat captain and coach Ron Boyer of Farmington.  It showed as this team worked a stretch of sea wall no longer than 35 yards for nearly 6 hours.  They ended up pulling in five keepers and culling one, which helped them secure second place with a total weight of 15.11 lbs.

Farmington High School took 2nd place at the IHSA State Finals 

"We had to switch from lure to lure and stay dedicated to our plan." said Reece Rother, a member of the St. Charles North #1 team.  Coach Tim Pinks said that, "it was a tough day on the water.  We had boats and other anglers around us all day."  St. Charles North #1 managed to weigh-in a two day total of 15.3 lbs taking third place this year.

Big Bass went to Pierce Knarr of Stillman Valley with a bass weighing in at 4.15 lbs.  When asked what it took to catch that biggin' Pierce stated that, "it took alot of covering water. Casting and reeling, casting and reeling." "I have to thank my couch and my net man, because I couldn't do it without them." he continued.  If you ask Pierce what he caught that fish on all you'll get out of him is that he used a crankbait and when pushed further stated it was a shallow one.

With a two day total of 17.8 lbs the 2018 Champions were the Pinckneyville Panthers. Coach Kreger said that with the weather they needed to keep changing things up.  "They got bit and they put em' in the boat." he said.  Like Farmington, Pinckneyville High School was dedicated to one particular spot.  "We knew the fish we're there we just just had to grind." said Dalton Pyatt of the Pinckneyville Panthers.  "We used the slower baits, so it was a long, long day." he continued.  Teammate Kyle Kreger said, "We knew things were going to be slow, but we stayed in our same spot and it paid off."

Coach Kreger when he realized his team won the State Finals

Over the past ten years many high schools from across the state of Illinois have entered the sport of fishing and it is from those schools anglers have been able to continue their passion for fishing at the college level.  We look forward to seeing the many new anglers that enter the field next year and anticipate another great season.

Pinckneyville High School Bass Fishing

If you are a coach or boat captain for a high school fishing team and would like Capitol Outdoors to come talk with your team, reach out to us.

Check out more results from the state finals here.

Watch the LIVE weigh-in here.

View photos from Day 2 of the State Finals here.














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