IHSA bass fishing state finals staying put: IHSA board announces Carlyle will host next three finals

The Illinois High School Association board announced on Monday that the state finals for bass fishing will remain at Carlyle for the next three years; Carlyle hosted the first 12, too.

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Boats lining on May 22 for Day 2 of the IHSA’s state finals for bass fishing on Carlyle Lake. Credit: Dale Bowman

Boats lining on May 22 for Day 2 of the IHSA’s state finals for bass fishing on Carlyle Lake.

Dale Bowman

Despite the complaints about Carlyle being the only host for the first 12 years of the Illinois High School Association’s state finals for bass fishing, the finals will remain on Carlyle Lake for the next three years.

The hopes for finals moving to Springfield Lake were dashed Monday with the announcement from the IHSA board.

“The city of Carlyle, Carlyle High School, the Army Corp. of Engineers who oversee Carlyle Lake, and a host of volunteers from around the area have been with us since day one,” IHSA executive director Craig Anderson said in a release. “They helped us realize the dream of a bass fishing state championship and have embraced the event as a community in every way possible. We are proud to return there to conduct the event for three years.”

Only twice in those 12 years at Carlyle did the state finals go as scheduled. The other 10 were postponed, delayed or shortened.

Carlyle was despised by anglers and coaches alike. The Illinois Bass Fishing Coaches Association was formed in 2020 “to help change the IHSA State Finals venue at Carlyle Lake” and the IBFCA contributed to Springfield making a bid to host the finals, according to Batavia coach and IBFCA president Brian Drendel.

Humberto Gonzalez, former Naperville North coach, famously emailed two years ago, “Carlyle Lake is a death trap waiting to happen.”

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