The Illinois High School Association will crown its seventh state bass fishing champion this weekend. The IHSA even has a slogan for the event, to be held Friday and Saturday at Carlyle Lake: “The Future Fishes Here.”
“I think it was somewhat of a pilot program seven years ago when they did it. I don’t know if any other states have come on board and started the same kind of thing, but there are more and more schools throughout the state of Illinois that are getting involved on a yearly basis. There’s even schools around here that have talked to us and said you know, hey, we’d like to start this program up. Do you have any suggestions for us?” said Aaron Heartt, one of the coaches for Mercer County High School in Aledo.
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The IHSA first offered a state tournament series in bass fishing in 2009. 250 schools now have bass fishing teams in Illinois.