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IHSA bass fishing: Challenging weather doesn’t diminish return of sectionals

Despite intermittent rain and a chill in the air, there was joy to be had in the return of Illinois High School Association’s bass fishing sectionals after a year away because of the pandemic.

It wasn’t all about bass fishing at the IHSA sectionals for bass fishing Thursday, Glenbrook South’s Ryan Sutton holds his first muskie, a small tiger muskie caught at the Skokie Lagoons sectional. Provided
It wasn’t all about bass fishing at the IHSA sectionals for bass fishing Thursday, Glenbrook South’s Ryan Sutton holds his first muskie, a small tiger muskie caught at the Skokie Lagoons sectional.
Provided

Good to have high school bass fishing sectionals back Thursday in Illinois.

Good to see Brother Rice sent out as the first boat at the Des Plaines River sectional.

Good to see the subs at the Braidwood Lake sectional lining the south riprap and casting in the rain.

Good to have Ryan Sutton spice up Glenbrook South’s winning bag at the Skokie Lagoons sectional with a small tiger muskie, his first muskie.

“So weird to catch that out of here,” Sutton said. “I fished this place for years and never even even caught a pike out of here.”

“We were looking at it and he said, ‘Pike,’ “ said coach Justin Zummo, who started the bass fishing team when he started teaching in 2016 at GBS. “I said, ‘That is a muskie.’ “

He texted Jim Phillips, the Forest Preserves of Cook County fisheries biologist managing the event. Phillips identified it as a tiger.

Glenbrook South’s Ryan Sutton (left) and Sean Kim hoist their winning catch Thursday at the Skokie Lagoons sectional for IHSA bass fishing. Credit: Dale Bowman
Glenbrook South’s Ryan Sutton (left) and Sean Kim hoist their winning catch Thursday at the Skokie Lagoons sectional for IHSA bass fishing.
Dale Bowman

Sutton and senior Sean Kim, both four-year anglers, weighed four largemouth bass at 6 pounds, 4 ounces for GBS’s win. Kim caught eight total and three of the keepers.

Each boat may weigh their five heaviest black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, spotted), 12 inches or longer.

“We finesse fished with soft plastics,” Zummo said.

Kim and Sutton said they were using Ned rigs and wacky-rigged baits.

Seniors Joel Kyriazes and Marc Sipolt in Taft Boat 1 took second (6-0). Taft Boat 2 took third (5-10), led by junior Joe Williams’ big bass (2-12), caught on a Senko.

Each school may enter two boats at sectionals. The top three boats at sectionals qualify for state, scheduled for May 21-22 on Carlyle Lake.

Brother Rice launches one of its boats Thursday at the Des Plaines River sectional for IHSA bass fishing. Credit: Dale Bowman
Brother Rice launches one of its boats Thursday at the Des Plaines River sectional for IHSA bass fishing.
Dale Bowman

NOTES: “Raccoon Man” made the best story at the Des Plaines River sectional. Brother Rice assistant coach Jimmy Ciurej, aka “Raccoon Man,” an alum who was a top angler a decade ago, couldn’t bring his boat when he found raccoons in it last night, forcing the Crusaders to scramble for their second boat this morning. . . . . . . Huntley set the record for the Chain O’Lakes (South) sectional winning weight and had the heaviest bag in the Chicago area at 13-8. Huntley’s ’s Lucas Wojnicki caught the big bass there of 3-3.2. . . . The three most consistent programs in the Chicago area — Minooka, Wheaton-Warrenville South and Streamwood — qualified again for state. Minooka won the Heidecke Lake sectional with 13.7 and also weighed big bass (3.2). Wheaton-Warrenville South won the Busse Woods Reservoir (Main Pool) sectional with 9-13 and Streamwood took third with 7-4. . . .All participating boats weighed fish at the Braidwood Lake sectional. Gardener-South Wilmington won with 13-2, Bradley-Bourbonnais was second (12-15) and Reed-Custer third (11-2). R-C had the big bass (3-6). . . . The Geneva team of Will Ramage, Aidan Hanlon and Estelle Stanfield won the Shabbona Lake sectional with 11-7 and Ramage caught the biggest big bass of the Chicago-area sectionals with a 4-pounder. Another perennial power, St. Charles North, was second (10-15). . . . Antioch won the Chain O’Lakes (North) with 11-3 and Grant was second with 10-8. Antioch coach Brad Rubin has led two different schools to more than one trip to the state finals. . . . Host Sandburg won the Des Plaines River sectional with a very impressive 12.85. . . . Downers Grove North won the Busse Woods Reservoir (South Pool) with 9-9. . . . Taft was the only Chicago-area school to qualify both boats. . . . Click here for complete statewide sectional results.