Adam Galardini caught the only keeper as bass fishing tournaments for Illinois high school students informally began with a 15-boat tournament at Shabbona Lake Sunday morning.
The Batavia junior caught his 17.5-inch largemouth, weighing 3.1 pounds, while slow-rolling a spinner bait off a deep weed edge near Shabbona's east bay.
It is underway. I am excited, and I am only reporting on it.
I was glad to have Marmion coach Joe Large e-mail, ``As a coach, I had the same feelings of anticipation as when I fish a tournament myself. The conduct in the boats was exceptional. The students were working hard--fishing and taking turns running the trolling motor the entire time.''
Large and Batavia coach Brian Drendel set up the preliminary tournament, which drew teams from all over Illinois.
The IHSA formally begins its first of its kind statewide bass fishing tournaments in the spring.
The tournament drew 15 boats from eight schools: Amboy, Batavia, East Peoria, Marengo, Marmion, Morris, Peoria Christian and Taft.
Each boat had a coach and three fishermen. Some schools such as Taft and Marmion had two boats. in the spring, the IHSA format will feature one coach and two fishermen per boat.
These were tough post-frontal conditions with air and water in the upper 50s and wind about 20 mph.
In some ways, that might have been a good test for future anglers.
`We threw everything at them (spnners, rattle traps, shallow, med, deep cranks, plastic worms/creature baits/jigs etc.),'' e-mailed Taft coach Mike Mulligan.
At least two under-sized bass were caught, both by Marmion fishermen: Joe Cordogan caught 13-5-inch largemouth on a Texas-rigged plastic worm and Casey Smith caught a 10-inch smallmouth on a plastic worm.
Here's to a piece of history for Galardini and his Batavia coach and teammates.