CARLYLE, Ill.--Rumors flew Friday night and into Saturday morning that St. Charles North had kept fishing during the storm delay that eventually shortened Day 1 of the Illinois' first bass fishing championship to three hours.
North Stars fishermen and the coach said they had caught their limit of five keepers by 9:30 a.m. They lead the tournament after Day 1 with 10-8, next is Moline with 8-2.
Assistant executive director Dave Gannaway said, ``I was in communication with every team within a 30-minute time, trying to get all the people off. . . . We got everybody and we are fine with yesterday.''
Gannaway added, ``I personally talked with them and their coach.''
He said he was comfortable that the North Stars had sought shelter with a family on shore.
The storm had passed by the weigh-in and Kevin Rolfingsmeyer and other Carlyle city workers emptied chairs of water.
More notes below.
GANNAWAY TAKE: Gannaway admitted, ``The tournament is testing us all the way around. But the schools and everybody handled it well.''
HICKMAN TAKE: IHSA executive director Marty Hickman is not a fishing afficionado, but he was visibly moved when discussing the opening day of fishing and what it meant in the broader terms:
``I am disappointed in the weather, but it is a great day for the IHSA. I've been there for 18 years, and this is one of the best days in our organization. We have been doing this since 1900 and I think this is one of our brightest moment. It took courage and a leap of faith.''
``We got to some kids we don't normally touch. They are just as excited as the kids at the state basketball tournament.''
GIRL POWER: The Regina Dominican team, the only all-girls school to enter the tournament, caught no keepers in the shortened day 1. ``It was tough,'' Natalie Hogan said. ``Then the weather. We were already coming in. We heard thunder. Then Christine [Brown] saw lightning.''
QUOTE: Local bass fisherman Jodie Lanter gave me a ride around the lake Friday. At one point, he was moved to say, ``This is great. Some of these kids don't excel at sports but they're outdoor kids and it gives them something to be proud of.''
FISHY MOMENT I: At one point, Lanter and I were watching the Taft team of Michael Jarvis and Matthew Griffith fish from coach Mike Mulligan's up-North Lund boat. Jarvis was casting a frog and had a nice bass blow up on it. He waited long enough and set the hook, but it came unhinged when stuck in the grass.
FISHY MOMENT II: After takeoff, Grant Park coach Bill Ekhoff came around with brothers Derrickand Nick Abels to fish the rip-rap by the launch. Of course, they caught one, but it came up just short on the bump board and was released.
More to come later.