Signing day: That’s right, signing day for bass fishing, and Antioch’s Tucker Siminak picks McKendree U
Antioch’s Tucker Siminak is the latest area angler to sign a letter of intent to bass fish at McKendree University.
Tucker Siminak answered Tuesday when I called for a fishing report from Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch.
Figures. He has been working there since he was 15.
On Wednesday, the Antioch senior signed a letter of intent to bass fish for McKendree University.
Siminak has the resume.
“I have pretty much lived within a couple blocks of a lake,” he said. “Every day I have been going to a lake. My grandpa [Dave Styscko] started me bass fishing when I was younger and I started tournament fishing when I was 10.”
As a freshman, he and Dylan Egleston, then a sophomore, had Antioch in second at the Illinois High School Association’s state finals for bass fishing after Day 1. Then their boat crashed on Day 2.
“That was a treacherous, scary situation, but Tucker is a tough fisherman, nothing seems to faze him,” Antioch coach Brad Rubin said. “You could tell from Day 1 he was special. His maturity and poise in the face of adversity is memorable, especially in a freshman.”
“I first noticed Tucker during the IHSA state championship at Carlyle during his freshman year,” McKendree coach Jon Rinderer emailed. “I was introduced to him by coach Rubin. Tucker had an unfortunate boating incident, but took everything in stride. Not to mention, he had a great tournament.
“Since meeting him at that tournament, I have thought about recruiting him to McKendree to become a Bearcat. . . . This past year, Tucker voiced an interest in coming to McKendree. As with most of the anglers on our team, I invited Tucker for a campus visit. At that time, I took him out on the water to evaluate his skill set and get to know his personality.”
Siminak and Kyle Anderson took third at state last May.
When I asked Siminak what drew him to McKendree, he said, “The university is in a small town and he is a really good coach, a great bass coach.”
At McKendree, which is in Downstate Lebanon, Siminak plans to study business and marketing.
“Chris Groh and I are pretty good friends since I was 12,” Siminak said. “He has done everything from taking me fishing and showing me the right way to bass fish. And how to be the most advantaged angler on the water. Main thing is how hard you have to work at it, definitely a foundation you can build off of.”
“Tucker is a home-school student,” Rubin said. “A lot of kids never saw him in school, a relative unknown by my anglers. But Chris Groh told me what was coming.”
Groh, a native of Spring Grove, is a bass pro.
“I like to say I am a pretty versatile fisherman; but I would say my strength is a jig or a frog,” Siminak said. “It’s something I honed on the Chain”
Rubin seconded versatile.
“Man, Tucker can do anything,” Rubin said. “He definitely wants to stick with fishing. He has everything you need: He has supportive parents; he is an outdoorsman through and through, he hunts and he is a phenomenal photographer. What ever he does, he does well.
“It is hard to ignore his experience. He has a ton of time on the water. He has fished with Groh, [me] and the Wednesday night tournament on the Chain. Being at Triangle, he is around it. He’s also very versatile, he can do anything. If you ask him to do something, he has done it before. He’s got the `It’ factor.”
“Definitely looking to guide and make a living in fishing,” Siminak said. “Biggest goal is to make a pro series.”