On September 29, 2018, over 130 high school anglers from across northern Illinois participated in the ninth annual Sublime - Oak Lawn Community High School Bass Tournament on Braidwood Lake. The tournament featured 47 boats from 23 high schools with anglers eager to put their fishing skills to the test. After the Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation weighed in all the fish, Minooka High School anglers Blake Beckwith and Mason Spivey took home the trophies.
Under nearly ideal fishing weather, 14 teams brought in limits and 36 out of the 47 teams weighed in fish. Winning Minooka angler Blake Beckwith said, “It’s really setting the mood for the rest of the season and hopefully we can keep the momentum we have now moving forward into the next tournaments and pull off a few more wins.” Beckwith’s partner Mason Spivey said of the win, “It feels good to be successful and I want to thank the coaches, volunteers, and my parents.” The duo weighed in a five fish limit for a total of 9.35 lbs. to bring home the victory.
Rounding out the top five teams were second place finishers from Aurora Central, David Bartlett and John Miller (8.77 lbs.); third place went to Luke Hanouw and Davon Kaiser (8.76 lbs.); fourth place went to Plainfield South’s Ryan Park and Joey Passo (8.45 lbs.); and fifth place finishers were Jackson Lambert and Jacob Lambert (7.66 lbs.). The top five finishing teams qualified for the 2019 Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation State High School Tournament.
For their accomplishments, each angler and boat captain was given a trophy presented by Sublime and the teams were awarded a $50 gift card to Basa’s Marine in Bolingbrook, IL.
The big bass of the tournament was caught by freshman Robby Mishka of Nazareth Academy. Robby excitedly stated, “This was my first tournament ever! I was very surprised on how big the bass are at Braidwood. I fished a worm very slowly to catch my fish.”
In an effort to get more kids involved in competitive fishing, a creature fish tournament was held for shoreline anglers. The creature fish tournament is an opportunity for kids who excel in other fishing techniques to showcase their talents by catching any fish that is not a bass. The creature fish award went to Oak Lawn Community High School freshman angler Tom Rysiewicz who caught a nice channel catfish to ring in the victory.
A special thanks to the Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation for bringing their aerated fish tanks, computerized weigh in system, and B.A.S.S. trailer. The Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation offered the student anglers a unique opportunity to weigh in the fish just like to professional bass fishermen do. Capital Outdoors streamed the event live on Facebook and took many amazing pictures of the kids fishing. Basa’s Marine in Bolingbrook provided $50 gift cards to the finishing teams and Sublime provided trophies to each winning angler as well as a hand towel for all anglers.
This tournament is hosted on the last Saturday of each September. If you would like information about next year’s tournament, please email Coach Kuchyt at email@example.com.