CARLYLE, Ill.–A busted motor broke right for Monticello, and big bass were all over at Carlyle Lake on Friday.
Big bass like this one caught by sophomore Jack Waldschmidt, one of 5 pounds, 13 ounces to keep Bradley-Bourbonnais in the hunt for the title for Illinois’ second state championship for bass fishing.
“It’s a pig” was all the information Waldschmidt would give with one more day to go in the tournament. He and freshman Mason Prairie, captained by former Bassmaster Classic qualifier Rick McCarty, weighed a limit at 11-9 to be in ninth.
Monticello took advantage of trouble.
Stuck in one spot of Carlyle Lake when their boat motor would not restart, the Sages proceeded to catch a big limit of bass on opening day of Illinois’ second state championship for bass fishing.
Weighing five largemouth bass at 17 pounds, 15 ounces, the Sages took a 2-7 lead over Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley.
“I kind of thought we were screwed, to be honest,” Sage senior Chad Myler said.
“We caught a break,” adult captain Rusty Hunt said. “We were going to leave but couldn’t.”
Hunt’s son Cole and Myler proceeded to catch a limit in the cove.
Teams could weigh their five best black bass of 12 inches or longer. Two high school fisherman could fish at any time. An adult captain ran the boat.
Fenwick stayed within reach as senior Will Lawler and juniors Joey DiSomma and Evan Radtke weighed a limit at 10-11 for 11th.
“We have to have a big bag tomorrow,” Lawler said. “Conditions are right. We should be in the hunt.”
Conditions were good. South winds built throughout the day to kick up 4-foot waves by afternoon. Otherwise, it was a good fishing day with cloud cover and bass on the beds, as evidenced by many big bass and their battered tails.
Last year, both days of the tournament only produced 108 keepers, while 166 keepers were weighed Friday alone.
Maine West also weighed a limit (8-10) to hold 17th. That may be the most remarkable feat of the day, considering their motor blew and the Warriors had to be towed in by a media boat and lost a couple hours of fishing.
Yet, they caught enough to cull fish.
St. Charles North, third last year as their coolly-wrapped boat proclaimed, was 19th with four weighing 8-3.