Here are highlights of the first sectionals for the IHSA bass tournament, the world's first statewide high school bass fishing tournament.
I lead with the Shabbona Lake sectional, where boats were lined up when I arrived, because that is where I spent the day. It was one of several very tough sectionals. Note the big bags that came from the Chain and Busse and the very tough day at Tampier.
I took this photo of the Naperville North team just before they enlivened their day with a 1.35-pound largemouth that qualified them for state.
Details are below.
SHABBONA, Ill.--One big fish was good enough for Derrick Hoffman.
The St. Charles North junior caught a 4.1-pound largemouth bass to lead North's Boat 1 to the championship of the Shabbona Lake sectional in the inaugural of Illinois's high school bass fishing tournament.
With it Hoffman and senior teammates Cody Hansen and Ryan Fosbinder advance to the world's first statewide high school fishing championship at Carlyle Lake May 8-9.
Hoffman, who fishes any chance he gets, was twitching an X-Rap crankbait in the no-motor zone when ``it came right in and hammered it by the boat.''
They were fishing the area because coach Tim Pinks ``figured the northwest corner would warm first and we found some structure, some junk'' in the no-motor zone.
Marmion's all-freshman boat advanced when Brad Warland caught a 3.6-pound largemouth with a blue shad Rapala DT-10, working deep over a submerged road bed. Casey Smith netted the fish, and David Thielen was the alternate.
Rounding out the field was Naperville North team of Connor Stapleton, Kurt Deichstetter and Cam Barrone when the sophomore Stapleton caught a 1.35-pound largemouth of Somonauk Point in the final hour.
Teams could weigh up to five largemouth or smallmouth bass of 12 inches or longer. Adult coaches captained the boats, but were not allowed to fish in any way.
CHAIN O'LAKES 2: The Zion-Benton advanced two teams. Boat 1 of Tim Fleischlauer, Drew Spangler and Tyler Canta caught the area's biggest total weight with five bass weighing 14.04 pounds, including the big fish of 3.06 pounds. Also advancing were the Grayslake North team of Cody Speno and Karl Wenkebach and the other Z-B team of Jason Reif, Mike Bomberry and Josh Stagg.
BUSSE: The Wheaton-Warrenville South Boat 1 team of Kyle Vander Mey, Scott Nuzzo and Tom Pheiffer weighed the area's other biggest bag of four bass weighing 10-pounds, 8 ounces, including the area's biggest fish of 4-2. Also advancing were the York team of Dan Martin, Jeff Grainge and Derrick Hermanser and the Conant team of Craig Davies, Matthew Sells and Steve Myska.
CHAIN O'LAKES I: The Marian Catholic team of Jackie Bowler, Jake Vesper and Nolan Downes won with three fish weighing 3.92 pounds. Also advancing were the Vernon Hills team of Brandon Wolf and Mike Seal and the Streamwood team of Ryan Pokorney and Matt Stilson.
SKOKIE LAGOONS: The Maine West team of Creighton Delgato, James Ramirez and Anthony Zourkas won on the tie-breaker of big fish as the Taft team of Michael Jarvis, Matthew Griffith and Stephen Scaletta also weighed two fish for 3.8 pounds. The state's only all-girl school entry, the Regina Dominican team of Christine Brown and Natalie Hogan also advanced.
TAMPIER: The Sandburg team of Brent Kondziolka, John Cote and Anthony Panagopoulos won with one bass of 3 pounds. The Brother Rice team of Kevin Wagner, Ted Lowery and Kevin Wrobel weighed the area's smallest countable fish of 0.875 pounds to be the only other team to advance.
HEIDECKE/LaSALLE: Both sectionals were postponed until Monday because of the winds.