Congratulations to this years winners!
As a member of the Illinois B.A.S.S., you are entitled to several of our member-benefit offers.
The 2017 IBN Presidents Conference will be held February 11th at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Streator, IL. Check-in will begin at 8am, and the meeting will come to order at 9am. A block of rooms is being held under the heading "Illinois Bass Nation" for $65 a night at the Starved Rock Motor Inn (formerly Town and Country Inn). Club presidents who are in town Friday are invited to an open bar with appetizers from 8-10pm at the Knights of Columbus hall. Doughnuts, coffee and juice will be served for the Saturday morning session, and lunch will be provided. We look forward to seeing everyone there and kicking off another great season!
Knights of Columbus Hall
806 Oakley Ave
Streator, IL 61364
Starved Rock Motor Inn
2110 N Bloomington St
Streator, IL 61364
The Illinois BASS Nation held the 2016 State Championship / Regional Team Qualifier on September 10th and 11th in Olney Illinois on East Fork Lake. When the Olney city council heard we were interested in holding the tournament at East Fork Lake they did not hesitate to jump on board. The cities support for the IBN helped to make this event a great success. The Richland Co. High School Chorus came out and did an exceptional job singing the National Anthem both days. The Boy Scout troop 211 also worked the event running fish bags for the anglers.
At this yearâ€™s event 124 anglers competed for the title of State Champion and a spot on the IBN State Regional Team. From this event the IBN will be sending the top 11 Anglers and top 11 Co-Anglers to the BASS Nation Central Regional Tournament next spring. Those anglers are now just 2 tournaments away from a spot in the Bassmaster Classic.
The weather did not cooperate Saturday morning as the 62 boat field launched in the rain. The forecast was set to deliver rain on and off all day. With the rain and falling temps the bite would prove to be tough. We all knew that the anglers would have to work to figure out the bite for the day.
At the end of day 1 the weights suggested that it was still anyoneâ€™s tournament to win. The Angler had a limit of 5 fish and only 4 limits came in. The Co-Anglers had a limit of 3 fish and only 4 limits came in as well. The conditions were tough and Day 2 could prove to be even harder with lower temps and a high sky. Leading the Angler side on day 1 was Chris Baker with 10.84 lbs. and Steve Pruitt with 7.02 lbs. Big Bass for Saturday â€“ Angler Tim McKay at 4.38 lbs. and Co-Angler Peter Saele at 3.76 lbs.
Day 2 started out with a great rendition of the National Anthem by the Richland Co. High School. All of the anglers knew that the bite would change and the ones that made the adjustments would bring in the fish.
As the weigh in went on the big bass for the day changes several times and so did the top 11 on both the Angler and Co-Angler sides. When the scale closed and all weights were confirmed the top 11 Anglers and Co-Anglers were announced.
The top 11 standings do not tell entire story. Mark Emenecker came from 39th place, Luis Gonzalez from 24th place into the top 11. On the Co-Anglers side, Mike Dudek shot up from 45th place and no fish on day 1, Keith Meigs from 35th and Phil Tarasiewicz from 32nd to make the team. What an effort by these anglers.
Congratulations to all of the members in the 2017 IBN State Regional Team!!!
The IBN would like to thank the City Of Onley, Bentenhousen Dodge, Shimano and Jackall Baits as our Primary sponsors. Motor Guide, Mercury and Lowrance as supporting sponsors of this event.
Download here: 2016 IBN SQ Information Sheet
On August 6th the IBN High School Series went to Pool 13 out of Savanna Illinois. Water levels on the Mississippi River had been a little high but over the week just before the tournament the water levels were dropped over 3 feet. This would definitely have an effect on the positioning of the fish on the river.
All of the teams were in the water and ready to go and takeoff began at 6:00 am. The weather cooperated with slightly overcast skies with no rain forecasted.
When the teams came in you could tell that fishing was tough for most of the field. Word was that only a few limits were coming to the scale.
Half way through the weigh in the Durand Bulldogs, Joey Erickson and Robert Oakley, held the hot seats with a limit of fish weighing 9.26 lbs. Then, Macomb High Schools, Wally Bloomer and Charles Thomas came to the scale with a solid bag. Their 5 fish limit of 13.19 lbs. which included a Big Bass at 2.79 was more than enough to take over the hot seats. With only a few teams left to weigh in they seemed to be confident with their weight. The last team to weigh in were brothers Nolan and Colen Turner, Turner Home School, and they had a limit of fish. As the scale stopped at 8.21 lbs. giving the Turners the third place spot, Wally and Charles held on to the top honors for the event.
Charles and Wally 1st Place
The Pool 13 event also established 5 more Teams that have now qualified for the IBN High School Series State Championship next June. The 5 teams qualifying at this event are;
1. Joey Erickson and Robert Oakley Durand Bulldogs
2. Nolan Turner and Colen Turner Turner Home School
3. Sean Cook and Tommy Zobel Joliet Central
4. Trace Bogner and TBD Midland H S
5. Kolt Lawyer and TBD Macomb H S
Wally and Charles already qualified for their spot at the Jacksonville event. Congratulations to all the qualifying teams. For more information about the IBN High School Series visit us on Facebook or go to www.illinoisbassnation.com or www.bassmaster.com .
Our next event will be at Lake Shabbona on August 27th. By Frank Labanowski â€“ IBN Youth Director
The Illinois Team Series went to Lake Jacksonville for the 4th event of the season on July 17th.
At takeoff the weather was not looking good as storms were going to roll through in a few hours.
The sky was overcast and temps were on the rise. The takeoff started at 5:30 and the anglers looked forward to the Jacksonville reputation for giving up big bass.
Around 9 am the thunder and lightning started and the anglers all headed for cover. The rain came down for about 30 minutes and close to 2 inches had fallen. This was going to effect the bite for sure and the fish were going to move. As soon as the rain stopped the boats headed out again with about 4 hours of fishing time left.
At 1:30 the field was in and the weigh in began. We were looking for some good bags to show off this fishery. After a few anglers weighed in Kevin Rebouche and John Czajkoski came up with 3 fish and one was a good one. Their Big Bass hit the scale at 6.85 and their 3 fish came in at 12.32 lbs. That was not going to hold up. The next 4 teams weighed and each time the top weight went up by about a half a pound. Then Rick Stanczak and Mike Utermark came up with the next limit. Their bag weighed in at 14.12 lbs. Allen Williford and Austin Moore made their way to the scale with 4 fish and they were the right ones. There big bass was a little short at 5.10 but the total weigh of 17.30 lbs. put them on top with only a few teams left to weigh in. The last threat came from Sam and Bob Stortz who also had a limit. There total weigh rang in at 15.04, putting them in second and Williford and Moore had the victory.
The top 6 teams receiving a payout for the event were:
1. Allen Williford & Austin Moore 17.30
2. Sam Stortz & Bob Stortz 15.04
3. Ric Stanczak & Mike Utermark 14.12
4. Herb Rush & Steve Parker 13.63
5. Jamie Maisenbacher & Scott Bree 13.04
6. Brad Norris & Ryan Robinson 12.49
The next Illinois Team Series event will be at Pool 13 on August 7th out of Savanna at the Savanna City Marina Launch. For More information on the Illinois Team Series Go to the IBN Facebook page or www.illinoisbassnation.com or www.bassmaster.com .
By Frank Labanowski â€“ IBN Tournament Director
On July 16th the second tournament of the 2016 â€“ 2017 IBN High School Series took place.
Lake Jacksonville is one of the new locations for the series and knowing the recent history of the lake for big fish we were all looking forward to a good tournament.
The takeoff began at 6:30 as the anglers made their way to their first spot with high expectations. Jacksonville has been known to produce some really big bass and I was hoping to get a chance to weigh in a good one.
It was about 45 minutes before the anglers needed to return and the Team of Chris Thompson and Matt Reimer came in and asked to weigh in early. They had a limit of fish and some of them were not doing so good in their live well. As I watched them bring up their limit they either had a good bag of fish or too much water for them to carry. First they said they had a good fish for big bass and it certainly was. The fish toped the scale at 5.99 lbs. Then the five fish limit weighed in at 13.57 lbs. They released the fish and all of them were fine. It is great to see a team concerned about fish care like they were.
As the rest of the anglers returned for the weigh in we heard there were several more limits and a couple of big bass coming in as well. As the Sandwich Team took the hot seats the weigh in started.
Team after team came up and tried to bump them out but no luck. The Macomb High School team of Walley Bloomer and Chuck Thompson was next to weigh in. They had 4 fish but they were good ones. The teams big bass weigh in at 5.29 lbs. and without that 5th fish they had a total weight of 11.83 lbs.
The last team to try and take the hot seats were Austin Bickel and Nate Bickel from Midland High School. There big bass weighed in at 3.32 lbs and their limit was 11.21 lbs. The weigh in was over and Chris Thompson and Matt Reimer from Sandwich became the event champions. Congratulations for a job well done.
Along with the top 3, the 4th and 5th place teams also qualified for the IBN State Championship next June and they were, 4th Place Wyatt Colvin and Isabelle Colvin from Midland High School and 5th Place, Drew Herrmman and Wyatt Gabby from Marion High School. Congratulations to all 5 qualifying teams.
The next IBN High School Series event will be on Pool 13, out of Savanna Illinois, Savanna City Marina launch on August 6th. For more information on the IBN High School Series visit our facebook page, www.illinoisbassnation.com
The IBN High School Series held its first event of the 2016 â€“ 2017 season at Clinton Lake on June 25th. The high School anglers were very excited about the new season and the possibility of making the top 5 at this event.
The top 5 teams from each of the events will get a birth at the IBN High School State Championship that will be held in June 2017. From there they can qualify for the Bassmaster High School Championship to compete for college scholarships and prizes.
Clinton has been producing some great fish this year and we all anticipated it would continue. As the anglers took off for the day the temps were forecasted to be in the low 90â€™s. High temps and bluebird skies could make fishing tough. Most of the anglers were hoping for an early morning bite to get the day started.
As they came in we heard there were several limits coming up to the scale. The first team to sit in the hot seats were Hunter Litchfield and Lawson John from Macomb High School with a limit that was 11.12 lbs. with a Big Bass at 4.85 lbs. Hunter and Lawson got comfortable for a while as the teams came up trying to bump them off. Then A J Wojtowicz and Brent Beckwith from Minooka High School came up with a limit that weighed 13.66 lbs. and took over the hot seats. At this point there was only a few teams to weigh in and we heard the last team had a good bag. Nathan Doty and Jake Oakfeaf from Sangamon Valley, the last team to weigh in, came up with a solid limit. The scale stopped at 13.29 lbs. locking up second place and AJ and Brent held on to the top spot.
Coagulations to Brent and AJ for a great win and to all five teams that qualified for the 2017 IBN State Championship. The top 5 teams are:
Minooka H S A J Wojtowicz and Brent Beckwith 13.66 lbs.
Sangamon Valley H S Nathan Doty and Jake Oakfeaf 13.29 lbs.
Macomb H S Hunter Litchfield and Lawson John 11.12 lbs. Big Bass at 4.85 lbs.
Midland H S Doni Anderle and Logan Wunder 10.55 lbs.
Plainfield So. H S Mike Bobich and Jake Blomquist 9.83
The next event will be at Lake Jacksonville just west of Springfield on July 16th .
On June 26th the anglers from the series took on Clinton Lake for the 3rd event in the series.
The weather was perfect. The skies were clear and there was a slight threat of rain around noon.
The field was ready for takeoff and the launch began at 5:30. The entire Marina cove was off limits due to the tournaments that released fish the day prior. We all need to remember to give the released fish a break.
As the day progressed the rain never materialized, skies remained bluebird and it became very humid.
The team of Jamie Maisenbacher and Scott Bree came in 30 minute early because their fish were having a tough time and he didnâ€™t want to lose any. It is always great to see anglers concerned about fish care.
The early weigh in gave Jamie and Scott the lead with 19.14 lbs. and Big Bass at 5.21. Now they had to wait to see if they could hold that top spot.
The anglers started coming in and the weigh in bags were going fast. It was going to be another great weigh in.
The anglers came to the scale with bag after bag. Then Brad Norris and Ryan Robinson brought up a good looking bag. The scale stopped at 17.13 lbs. and Jamie and Scott hung on to the top spot. Soon Vaughn Capasso and Chris Capasso, the current Points Leaders for the series, came up and again this bag was a good bag. The scale stopped at 16.57 lbs. and now Maisenbacher and Bree looked to be the winners. The remaining angers could not come close to their weight and they held that top spot for the event. Brent Swartz and Brian Marsinko had the Big Bass for the event weighing in at 6.08 lbs. and took home the Big Bass Pot.
Congratulations to Jamie and Scott for a solid win. They have now locked up a spot in the Team Series Classic to be held in September.
The top 5 teams for the event were:
Jamie Maisenbacher and Scott Bree 19.14 lbs.
Brad Norris and Ryan Robinson 17.13 lbs.
Vaughn Capasso and Chris Capasso 16.57 lbs.
Brent Swartz and Brian Marsinko 14.48 lbs. Big Bass 6.08
Mel Hedrick and Ed Travino 14.33 lbs.
It has been another great year for the High School Series. All of the participation numbers are up and with that comes additional births to the National Championship for the High School Teams.
This year the top 5 teams from our State Championship / Series that will be heading down to Kentucky Lake in August are:
1. Minooka High School Anthony Fazio and Grant Olsen
2. Minooka High School Glenn Banaszak and Alec Berans
3. Marion High School Drew Herrmann and Wyatt Gabby
4. Minooka High School Jake Doster and Zach Peterson
5. Hinsdale South High School Adrian Kurnyta and Maciek Chmielewski
These 5 teams have qualified through the IBN High School Series to participate in our State Championship. That is where they punched their ticket to the National event. They competed against over 150 teams throughout the 2016 season and have earned their spot.
The Illinois BASS Nation would like to wish them all good luck at the National Championship!
The first tournament in the 2017 season will be on June 25th at Lake Clinton.
The Benton High School Team of Dailus Richardson and Trevor McKinney take the top honors at the Illinois BASS Nation High School State Championship at Lake Springfield. This will be their last event as high Schooler as they will be attending McKendree College this fall as freshmen.
As the weigh in progressed Minooka High School team of Anthony Fazio and Grant Olsen occupied the hot seats with a 5 fish limit at 13.48 lbs. Team after team came close but they remained the leaders. After half the field weighed in their fish Tyler Lubbat and Nolan Siera, from Buffalo Grove High School came up with a big bag of their own at 16.23 lbs. and took over the hot seats. They were feeling very comfortable for a while until the Benton High School Team, Dailus and Trevor came up with what looked like a heavy bag if fish. At this point Tyler and Nolan not only had the lead but also Big Bass at 4.56 lbs. and Benton was the last team to weigh in. The Benton team reached into the bag to pull out their big bass to be weighed and it came in at 4.70 lbs. taking the Big Bass for the event. As Bentonâ€™s limit of 5 fish went on the scale all 4 anglers looked on. The scale finally stopped at an even 21lbs. putting Dailus and Trevor in the top spot for the event. Their limit at 21 lbs. is the highest recorded weight at any IBN High School Series event.
The Benton Team has had a great run as high school anglers. The have won too many tournaments to mention. They have qualified for the Bassmaster High School National Championship several times. They are members of the Bassmaster High School All American Team and won that event as well. Trevor and Dailus also took top honors at the Bassmaster Classic High School event. Now, after receiving scholarships, they will be on their way to McKendree College to compete as members of their Bass Fishing Team. They have been great ambassadors for Illinois High School bass fishing and the Illinois BASS Nation wishes them success in the future. They will again be going to compete at the Bassmaster High School National Championship in August.
What a way to end your high school bass fishing years. Good luck at the Nationals.
By Frank Labanowski â€“ IBN Youth Director
On June 12th the Illinois Bass Nation hosted the 2016 Jr. Bassmaster State Championship on Lake Springfield. The Jr. Bassmasters are anglers from the age of 11 to 13. They are members of a Jr. Bassmaster club and through the club qualify to compete at the State Championship.
The Jr. Bassmasters launched at 5:30 am and were filled with anticipation at the possibility of making to the National Championship in August at Lake Carroll in Tennessee. The top 2 anglers from the State Championship will make up the Illinois Team that will compete at the National event.
The bite at Lake Springfield was definitely on. All of the Jr. Bassmasters brought fish to the scale. The anglers in the hot seats changed a few times during the weigh in and when it was over Dylan Draper held first place with 9.26 lbs, in second place was Luis Flores with 8.41 lbs. and rounding out the top 3 was Tyler Kalebic with 6.70 lbs. Dylan also had the Big Bass of the tournament at 2.36 lbs.
The top 2 anglers, Dylan and Luis, will now compete at the Jr. Bassmaster National Championship. Congratulations to both of you for a job well done.
Dylan and Luis, along with Tyler, are all members of the â€œOff the Hookâ€ Jr. Bassmaster club and are quickly becoming great anglers. They all brought a 5 fish limit to the scale.
Along with their fellow club members, the Illinois BASS Nation would like to wish Dylan and Luis good luck at the Nationals.
Frank Labanowski â€“ IBN Youth Director
On May 14th the IBN High School Series took on Lake Springfield and the anglers won. The day started out over cast with a little sprinkle of rain. The clouds left after a few hours and the wind began to blow. With gusts up to 20 mph the angler had to work hard unless they found a cove to themselves.
As usual Lake Springfield did not disappoint anyone. Every boat in the field brought fish to the scale.
As the weigh in went on Ethan Jones and Blake Jones from Father McGivney H S, had the hot seats with 9.22 lbs. They were feeling pretty good and team after team could not top them. Then came Alex Ellerbrock and Noah Clark came to the scale with a good bag. As the scale locked in at 11.58 lbs. the Jones boys had to give up the seats. There were a few anglers left to weigh in but Alex and Noah held on for the win.
1st Pl. with 11.58 lbs. Noah Clark and Alex Ellerbrock
At this event 5 teams total qualified for the IBN High School State Championship that will be held at Lake Springfield on June 12th. Those teams are:
Father McGivney - Ethan Jones, Blake Jones
Unity HS - C J Parks and Kyle Curtis
Unity - Cameron Cokley and Jack Brown
Plainfield So. - Mike Bobich and Jack Blumquist
Marion - Wyatt Gabby and Drew Herman
Congratulations to Alex and Noah on their win and all of the anglers for qualifying. Good luck at the State Championship.
For more information about the IBN High School Series visit us on facebook or at www.illinoisbassnation.com and www.bassmaster.com.
By Frank Labanowski
IBN Youth Director
IBN Tournament Director
The Illinois Team Series went to Lake Springfield on May 14th for the second tournament of the series. The forecast called for a windy clear day. The field was ready and the takeoff began shortly after 6 am. The wind did not let up with gusts up to 30 mph midday and with the high sky the bite would be tough. As the anglers came in you could tell they worked hard for what they had and 70% of the field brought fish to the scale.
As the anglers weighed in we were seeing some good bags. Seven teams weighed in a bag over 12 lbs. and Mike Busch and Mark Busch held the top spot with 10.64 lbs. There were several anglers left to weigh in when Mel Hedrick and Ed Travino came up just short with 9.44 lbs. Herb and Steve Rush were next and when the scale locked in at 12.42 lbs. they had the win. Big Bass for the event was taken by Mike Kazmierczak with 3.25 lbs. Herb Rush and Steve Rush 1st Place 17.42 lbs. Mike Kazmierczak Big Bass 3.25 lbs
For more information about the series look us up on facebook or at wwwillinoisbassnation.com or www.bassmaster.com. The next event will be at Clinton Lake om June 26th.
By Frank Labanowski â€“ Tournament Director
The Illinois Team Series kicked off the new season on April 10th at the southern tip of the state, Lake of Egypt. The word was that Egypt puts out some really big bass every spring, so this seemed to be a great place to start our season.
The day began with temps in the upper 30â€™s and the wind blowing 15 to 20 mph and a forecast for rain all day, being heavy at times. The rain began around 9:00 am and didnâ€™t quit till just before the weigh in. There were some very heavy down pours with occasional lightening. The bad weather brought in some anglers early and we found out that the early bite was a good one. A few of the teams decided to go with the limit they had and not go back out to finish the day. One of those teams were A J Evans and Bryson Evans. They had a solid limit in the live well and felt really good about their chances.
As the boats started to come in the scales opened immediately because the ongoing threat of additional rain storms.
It soon became apparent that every team in the tournament had fish to weigh in. The line at the tanks began to grow and talk about some big bass could be heard. As the weigh in progressed A J Evans and Bryson Evans held the lead with 15.45 lbs. with many of the teams still to weigh in. Brent Swartz and Brian Marsinko came up with a limit that was topped off with a Big Bass at 6.29 lbs and put them in the lead. With just a few teams to go Vaughn Capasso and Chris Capasso seemed to be the only threat left to overtake the leaders. They weighed in a big bass at almost 6 lbs. and a total weight of 15.66 lbs. just 3 hundredths of a pound behind the leaders, putting them in second place.
The top 3 spots were very close and the top 6 teams received a payout.
|#||Angler 1||Angler 2||Weight||Points|
|1||Brent Swartz||Brian Marsinko||15.69lbs||20|
|2||Vaughn Capasso||Chris Capasso||15.66lbs||21|
|3||AJ Evans||Bryson Evans||15.45lbs||20|
|4||Kevin Rebouche||John Czajkowski||14.59lbs||20|
|5||Allen Williford||Austin Moore||13.98lbs||19|
|6||Josh Roby||Brent Lundstrum||13.3lbs||18|
Because of their win, Swarts and Marsinko have locked in a spot in the Illinois Team Series Classic this fall. The winners of each event along with the top 15 teams by points will be in the classic to compete for the biggest payout the series has all season.
The top teams at the end of the series, by points will also move to complete at the Bassmaster Team Championship where they will have a shot at Bassmaster Classic birth in 2017. For more information about the Illinois Team Series and the IBN go to our web site at www.illinoisbassnation.com or visit us on facebook. The next event will be on Lake Springfield on May 15th.
Full current standings can be found here: http://illinoisbassnation.com/pdf/2016TeamSeriesStandings.xlsx
On June 11th the IBN will host the second annual DAV â€“ Folds of Honor benefit tournament on Lake Springfield. Last year was the first year
for this event and we are looking for 2016 to be even bigger. The official weigh-in and tournament headquarters will be the
DAV hall located right on the lake. A great way to show our respect and gratitude would be to come out and take a vet fishing for
the day. If you have a partner and want join in the fun and competition we look forward to seeing you there.
Our sponsors are on board and there will be prizes in many different categories. More information and entry form can be found here Registration can also be done the morning of the event during tournament check in at the DAV hall beginning at 5:30 am. Come on out and together we can make a great contribution to the men and woman that sacrificed so much for us.
Entry fee for the tournament is $50 with a 100% payout. Each boat registering must also make a $100 donation, to be paid at the time of registration, to benefit these great organizations. Everyone is welcome to join in and have a great time. Hope to see you all at this event!
Frank Labanowski - IBN Tournament Director
The 2016 IBN Presidents conferenced will be hosted Saturday, Jan 16th at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Streator, IL. Check-in will begin at 8am, and the meeting will come to order at 9am. 10 rooms have been blocked at the Budget Inn & Suites at $55 / night (plus applicable tax). Club presidents who are in town Friday are invited to an open bar with appetizers from 8-10pm at the Knights of Columbus hall. Doughnuts, coffee and juice will be served for the Saturday morning session, and lunch will be provided. We look forward to seeing everyone there and kicking off another great season!
Budget Inn & Suites
1705 N Bloomington St
Streator, IL 61364
Knights of Columbus Hall
806 Oakley Ave
Streator, IL 61364
President, Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation
This years Make A Wish Foundation drawing was held at the State Tournament event in Morris.On October 29th the winners were on hand to receive their prizes. First prize of $3,000 went to Steve Parker. Steve's wife was on hand to accept on his behalf. Second prize went to John Boylan, worth $1,500. Third prize went to Mark Peterson, who earned a $500 Bass Pro Shops Gift card. Congratulations everyone, and thank you for your support of The Make A Wish Foudnation!
The 2016 Team Series Schedule will be as follows:
April 10th - Lake of Egypt Pyramid Acres
May 15th - Lake Springfield Lindsey Ramp
June 26th - Clinton Lake Marina Launch
July 17th - Lake Jacksonville Lake Ramp
August 7th - Pool 13 Savanna City Launch
Sept 24th and 25th - Team Series Classic â€“ TBD**
**The Classic will include the winners of each event, then the top 14 by points at the end of the series. The field will be 20 boats for this event.
The Illinois BASS Nation held their 2015 State Championship Regional Team Qualifier tournament on the Illinois River in Morris on September 26th and 27th. The river should have been primed for a great tournament but with the weather conditions the week prior and water levels going down the fight was on for the anglers. They were not only combating water conditions that were unusual for this time of year but severe lock situations as well. The barges were backing up behind the locks and the army corp was doing the best they could to get them through but the numbers just added up to quickly. As the field took off on Saturday, most of them heading up river to lock through, the lock master said he would do his best to get them through on a timely basis. The sky quickly became blue bird and stayed that way all day making for some tough fishing conditions. With the locks being so active all day the current in the river was very strong. Some of the areas where fish would normally stage were empty. As the 3 flights of anglers made their way back at the end of the day the field that locked through all made it back on time. The day one leader was Chris Baker with 7.19 lbs and Big Bass for the day was 3.31 lbs brought in by Mike Rubino. You know it was a tough day when only 68 anglers out of 116 came to the scale. The club that was leading on day one was Unique Bassmasters with 20.60 lbs and a five pound lead over the second place club Chicago Windy City 1. As day two started the word from the locks was not good. They said the barge traffic was heavy and the best they could do was a possible 9:30 window to get the anglers through and no guarantee when they could get back. Most of the field turned around at the locks headed back and fished in the Marseilles pool. The weather was over cast and after the heavy barge traffic the current slowed just a little. As the final days weigh in progressed the names at the top of the leader board were changing. Soon there were two anglers left, Tim Prokop sitting in the hot seat with 13.55 lbs and one angler left to weigh in, Bill Skowronski. Bill needed 6.52 lbs to take the win and when the scale stopped he had 7.63 lbs for a total weight of 14.67 and became the 2015 IBN State Champion! On behalf of the IBN Board, Tournament Committee and all of the IBN membership, Congratulation to Bill for a job well done!
A special thanks goes out to the event sponsors, Bentenhousen Dodge, Illinois Valley Outdoors, Bedord Sales, Cast & Crew and Jackall Baits. They all came out and joined us on site for the event. Bentensousen Dodge gave away gift certificates to anyone who test drove a new Dodge truck. Bedford sales provided Gift certificates for the smallest Bass each day. Cast and crew filmed the event for Time On The Water and provided shirts for the event winner and Jackall Baits provided $1000 in soft plastics for prizes. The local bass club, Happy Hookers came out in force, as well as Fishing teams from Minooka High School, Angler Advantage, Joilet Central and the Jr. Bassmaster club â€œOff The Hookâ€. The High School anglers returned all of the competitorâ€™s fish back to the river as quickly as possible after they weighed in. Thank you for all your efforts. For more information about this event and the Illinois BASS Nation go to our facebook page or www.illinoisbassnation.com. Join a Bass Nation club and join us for our tournament events. By Frank Labanowski â€“ IBN Tournament Director
Click here to download!
The last event for 2015 Team Series was on August 23rd in Morris. 32 teams had registered for this event and for some of the teams it was their first one. Nick Connor and his partner Dan were one of those teams but on tournament day Nick had to fish alone as his partner could not make it. Fishing by himself didnâ€™t hurt Nick as he came in with the weight he needed.
Kevin ReBouche and John Czajkoski held the lead with 11.19 lbs when Nick came to the scale. It was a close finish but Nickâ€™s weight topped off at 11.82 to take the win.
Kris Geartner was the winner of the 80lb. Minn Kota Fortrex Trolling motor that was raffled off at this event. Second place raffle price was a $75 Bass Pro card.
For more information about the Illinois Team Series see us on facebook or go to www.bassmaster.com/team
By Frank Labanowski â€“ IBN Tournament Director
All season long teams have been competing in the IBN Team Series to get a spot in the Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship. On August 23rd the final event of 6 in the 2015 season was held on the Illinois River out of Morris. In 2014 the series was able to send 2 teams to the Championship. The participation level in the IBN Team Series has grown again this year and for 2015 we will be sending 3 teams to the Bassmaster Team Championship. The IBN Team Series is also paying the $500 entry fee for each team. The top 3 teams for 2015, by points are; Michael Kazmierczak and Michael Pappas, Mel Hedrick and Ed Trevino, Allen Williford and Austin Moore. Congratulations to our top 3 teams!
At the Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship they will compete for a spot in the 2016 Basmaster Classic. This yearâ€™s Championship will be held on Lake Guntersville in Alabama, December 9th â€“ 12th. On behalf of the IBN Board of Directors and the Illinois Team Series tournament staff, good luck at Lake Guntersville!!!
On June 27th at Clinton Lake the IBN High School Series kicked off the 2015 -2016 season.
There will be 3 more events this year and another 3 tournaments in the spring. These anglers are all competing for a spot in the IBN High School Series State Championship and a shot at making it to the Bassmaster High School Series Championship.
This event was no different than any other. The anglers came to compete and Clinton Lake was not easy on them. The area received about 3â€ of rain over the last week and the fishing was tough. This did not stop the high school teams from bringing in fish to the scales.
Benton High School was first to weigh in and held the lead with 9.64 lbs. It was not long before Dylan Herridge and Logan Wunder from Midland High School knocked them out with 11.34 lbs. With half the field still to weigh in Dylan and Logan were holding the hot seats. As the teams came through they grew more nervous as the last team was at the scale. Alex Ellerbrock and Steve Hall from Aurora Christian came up and their Big Bass was weighed first. The scale stopped at 3.27 lbs which gave them the Big Bass for the event. Their total weight was next but fell short and gave them the third place spot.
Dylan and Logan were the event winners to start off the new season at Clinton Lake.
The top five teams from this event have now qualified for the IBN State Championship for 2016.
Congratulations to Dylan and Logan and the top 5 qualifierâ€™s!!! For more information about the IBN High School Series go to www.illinoisbassnation or www.bassmaster.com/highschool. See us on our facebook page.
On June 29th the Team Series went back to Clinton Lake for round two. This was the 4th tournament of the series and the second stop at Clinton for the season.
The lake was up about 3 feet from normal pool as the area was hit with torrential rains over the last week but the locals said that the bite was still on.
Take off began a little early as all of the anglers were in the water and ready to go. As the boats were called off in the first flight, fish were breaking the surface around the launch ramp. I was hoping that would be a good indication of a morning bite.
The heavy rains predicted never fell and the storms all went just south of Clinton.
When the boats came in we began to hear 3 fish, 4 fish 3 fish, but no limits yet. It looks like it was indeed a tough day.
As the weigh in began, Mike Kazmierczak and Mike Pappas were the first team to the scale and they set the bar high with a limit that weighed in at 17.53 lbs. and a Big Bass at 5.21 lbs. Both their total weight and Big Bass held up throughout the weigh in. Then, Brad Norris and Ryan Robinson, the last team to weigh in, stepped up to the scale they had a bag with 4 really good fish. First there Big Bass was weighed in and it topped out at 5.71 lbs. taking the Big Bass for the event. Then their 4 fish went on the scale and it locked in at 17.44 lbs. just short of taking the lead.
This was the second win for Mike Kazmierczak and Mike Pappas as they took top honors at Lake Springfield for the season opener.
On June 14th the IBN held its annual High School State Championship. The teams competing had to qualify at a one of the IBN High School Series Tournaments. The State Championship officially ends the 2014 â€“ 2015 Season and determines which teams will move on to the Costa Bassmaster High School Championship on Kentucky Lake in July. These teams will be competing for College Scholarships and some great prizes, not to mention the title of National Champions.
There was a threat of rain all day as the anglers took off shortly after sunrise. Not much was heard about the fish being caught but Lake Spribgfield never let us down before.
As the weigh in progressed we had 23 limits come to the scale. The Big bass for the event went to Luke Brozovich and Canyon Kenny with a 4.58 hawg.
After all the anglers weighed here were the top 10 Teams .
Congratulations to all of the anglers for a great effort especially Sean Cook and Tommy Zobel. They will be moving on to the Costa Bassmaster High School Championship along with Sam Milazzo and Nick Martins.
Other teams that have qualified through the IBN series that will also be competing Nationaly are Luke Brozovich and Canyon Kenny, Dailus Richardson and Trevor McKenney, Jacob Doster and Zachary Peterson and Tyler Lubbat and Hunter Lubbat.
Good luck to everyone at the National Championship!
For more information about the IBN High School Team Series go to www.Illinoisbassnation.com or Bassmaster.com/highschool.
On June 14 the IBN held the Jr. Bassmaster State Championship on Lake Springfield. The field as filled with all of the Jr. Bassmaster members that qualified for the event. Zach Helland was the 2014 State Champion and he again qualified to compete.
It is tough to repeat at any level in any sport but Zach did just that. He brought in a limit of bass that weighed in at 10.26 lbs and had Big Bass as well at 2.87 lbs.
In Second place was Tyler Kalebic with another limit that was 7.41 lbs and in Third was Robby Ringer, in his first year to qualify, with 6.95 lbs.
Congratulations to Zach and Tyler who will now go on to compete at the BASS Nation National Jr. Championship in Kentucky.
On June 13th the IBN held the first annual Disabled American Veterans Benefit Tournament. The event took place on Lake Springfield and everyone had a great time.
The rain did not hold off but that did not discourage anyone from going out and bringing in some fish.
First place was Bob Blumenstein and Rob Melendez with 12.61 lbs. Second Place went to Nathan Lang and AJ Klein with 12.09 lbs and Third was taken by Dan Brown and Joe Hunt with 7.26 lbs. and Big Bass at 3.37 lbs. In 4th place was Alan Escobar and Bill Aldridge and 5th place went to Jesse Simpkins and Zach Helland.
A special thanks to all of the men and women in our military who have served or serving now.
Thank you to Shimano and Plano for their generous prizes that were awarded.
Effective September 1, 2015 there will be a new format for the clubs paying their B.A.S.S. National dues. There will be a single rate for all clubs to pay for all of the members in that club. The rate is going to be $360 per club. This is based on the average number of members in a club in the B.A.S.S. Nation at 12 members and the current dues of $30 per member. The main goal B.A.S.S. has for this is to grow the membership of the B.A.S.S. Nation. In growing the membership of the B.A.S.S. Nation, this will help everyone with to be able to get better sponsorship deals. The sponsors would love to see our number get bigger to help promote them even more.
For our smaller clubs, this could be an incentive to get more members to join the club so you can keep that cost per person close the $30. For the larger clubs, obviously it will be a cost savings to the club and members. And for those clubs that have members that are not part of the IBN or B.A.S.S. Nation, this would allow those clubs to list those members on their B.A.S.S. Nation roster with little or no cost depending on how the club decides to collect dues for the new format. Those members would then only have to pay the State IBN dues to be full IBN/B.A.S.S. Nation members.
For the IBN State dues for the clubs, the format is still the same at a cost of $40.00 per member.
If there are any questions at all, feel free to contact me either by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 630-204-5174.
Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation
On May 16th the Team Series Anglers did battle at Lake Springfield for the third tournament in the series. The day started off with the wind blowing and it was expected to get worse. The decision was made to take the field off from across the road at the sail boat ramp for safety purposes.
At 6:02am the take-off began with the anglers expected to return at 2:00pm.
This tournament was the only scheduled Team Series event on a Saturday. Normally we host these events on Sunday and set up the weigh-in tent and the equipment following the take-off but today it was different.
The Midwest Bassmaster High School Open was scheduled for Sunday and BASS rolled in with their trailer / stage and we began to help with the set up. Hank Walden offered the use of their stage for the Team Series weigh-in so now all we needed were the anglers to bring in some good fish. The boats began to return and it seemed like every boat was bringing up a bag.
Allen Williford and Austin Moore held the top spot with 12.40 lbs. for a short while and were knocked out by Brad Norris and Ryan Robinson with 14.67 Lbs. Their lead was short lived as well as Mel Hedrick and Ed Trevino came in with a bag that weighed 15.95 lbs. and the Big Bass for the day at 5.48 lbs.
In fact 7 limits came to the scale and the top 8 teams for the tournament had bags that were over 10 lbs.
Congratulations to Mel and Ed, Great job!!!
Our next Team Series event will be at Clinton Lake on June 27th at the Clinton Marina launch.
For more information on the IBN and the Illinois Team Series go to www.bassmaster.com or look us up on Facebook.
~ By Frank Labanowski IBN Tournament Director - Youth Director
On April 26th the Illinois Team Series held its 2nd event of the season. The day before was cold and rainy and the temps in the morning during team check in were in the mid 30â€™s. There were a lot of new faces registering for the event and it was shaping up to be another great one. As the sun rose so did the temps and at take-off it was 40 degrees.
The current pointâ€™s leaders, Josh Robey and Brent Lundstrom, would have the work cut out for them as Clinton was giving up some really big fish.
After take-off we began to hear that there were several boats with a big bass over 5lbs. and the weigh-in would be a good one. As the anglers came in and headed for the scale the word was there were 6 big bass over the 5 lb. mark. During the weigh-in big bass and the lead for the event changed hands several times. The Big Bass for the day went the team of Michael Pena and Scott James with a 6.24lb. Pig. Allen Williford and Austin Moore held the lead with 13.45 lbs. It was not long before Robert Pointer and Adam Settelmyer bumped them out with a limit that weighed in at 16.34 lbs. The next team only had 4 fish but they were the right ones. Michael Kazmierczak and Mike Pappas had a bag with 4 fish that weighed 17.58 lbs. and clinched the first place spot for the tournament.
Congratulations to Kazmierczak and Pappas on their victory!
The top 5 for the event were:
1. Mike Pappas and Michael Kazmierczak â€“ 17.58 lbs.
2. Robert Pointer and Adam Settelmyer â€“ 16.34 lbs.
3. Allen Williford and Austin Moore â€“ 13.45 lbs.
4. Brent Swartz and Matt Birmingham â€“ 12.93 lbs.
5. Steve Mui and Alex Peric â€“ 10.99 Lbs.
Our next event will be at Lake Springfield on Saturday, May 16th.
The latest standings can be found on the tournaments page under "IBN Team Series Tournaments"
~ By Frank Labanowski IBN Tournament Director - Youth Director
At take-off it was a cold 31 degrees and the winds were blowing around 20 mph. The forecast for the day said we would see wind gusts up to 40 mph. but the temps would also rise into the lower 50â€™s. The Ice just came off Lake Springfield a week or so before the tournament date and the lake was just getting into the upper 40â€™s. For a cooling lake it is unusual to hold ice for that long but we had a cold winter.
As the boats returned for the weigh-in we heard that some nice fish were sitting in the live wells.
As the weigh-in progressed the leaders changed several times. Big Bass seemed to change hands with each team that came up. Then Brad Norris and Ryan Robinson came up with a Big Bass at 7.33 lbs. and a total weight of 13.19 that moved them to 1st place, but only for a short while. The team of Todd Semenik and Brent Lundstrom followed with a limit and a total weight of 13.51 lbs. to take over the lead.
Congratulations to Todd and Brent on their win at the season opener!
|1st||Todd Semenik, Brent Lundstrom||13.51|
|2nd||Brad Norris, Ryan Robinson||13.19|
|3rd||Jim Blumenstein, Art Mensik||10.73|
|4th||Tony Cook, Sean Cook||10.62|
|5th||Allen Williford, Austin Moore||10.09|
The next IBN Team Series event will be at Lake Clinton on April 26TH at the Clinton Marina Launch. For the event and Team point standings, visit the Tournaments page! See you at Clinton.
~ By Frank Labanowski IBN Tournament Director - Youth Director
On Saturday March 28th the IBN High School Series kicked off the season for 2015 at Lake Springfield. The weather did not cooperate very well and the temps were in the upper 20â€™s at take-off. By the time the anglers were returning to the ramp it was still cold and windy.
As the anglers came to the scales with their fish they heard that Blake Fuller and Christian Allmon from Moline High School were the only ones with 4 fish. Some of them were not worried because 3 teams each had a big bass close to 4 lbs.
The hot seats changed owners several times during the weigh in. After bringing 8.85 Lbs. to the scale and a big bass of 3.85 Lbs. Joliet Centralâ€™s Sean Cook and Tom Zobel had the seats with 2 teams to weigh in. Sam Milazzo and Nick Martins from Maine South stepped up with a Big Bass of 3.98 Lbs. and a total weight of 7.95 which, for the time being, gave them the second place spot. With one team left to weigh in, Fuller and Allmon from Moline with 4 fish, it looked like the hot seat owners would be changing again. When the scale stopped Moline had 8.30 Lbs. and took over the second place spot putting Joliet Centralâ€™s Cook and Zobal in the winnerâ€™s circle.
Congratulations to Sean and Tom from Joliet Central and all of the teams that qualified for the IBN High School State Championship this coming June.
|1st||Joliet Central||Sean Cook,
|3rd||Maine South||Sam Milazzo,
|5th||ABC Bass||John Hoakstra,
All 6 teams have qualified to compete in the IBN State Championship on June 14th at Lake Springfield. The next High School Series event will be on April 25th at Clinton Lake.
~ By Frank Labanowski IBN Tournament Director - Youth Director
Each season you need to register your team / anglers with the IBN to compete in our High School Series of tournaments. The cost to register is $20 per angler. These funds are used to provide financial assistance to the families of the teams that move on to the Bassmaster High School Nationals. To register your High School Team / Anglers with the Illinois BASS Nation go to our web site at illinoisbassnation.com.
Registration forms can be found here
On May 17th high school teams from across Illinois and other state will converge on Springfield Illinois to compete in the Midwest Bassmaster High School Open tournament. This event is the third in a series that leads to the Bassmaster High School National Championship. The Southern Open was held at Lake Martin, Alabama on Feb 14th. The Central Open will take place on Toledo Bend in Louisiana on March 15th and the Midwest Open right here at Lake Springfield. For the high school anglers this means a berth to the National Championship.
â€“ For fields up to 50 boats, there will be 5 berths.
â€“ For every 10 boats over 50, we will increase the national championship berths by 1.
Example: 100 boat field â€” top 10 invited to National Championship!
All participating schools must be affiliated with Bassmaster High School Nation and their State Nation to be eligible. Competitors may sign up onsite at various tournaments.
For more information, visit http://Bassmaster.com/high-school
~ By Frank Labanowski IBN Tournament Director - Youth Director
Preregistration for the 2015 season is now open! You can preregister for as many or all of the tournaments and hold your launch position. The standard entry fee for a tournament is $150. If you send in your entry form with a $50 preregistration fee, per tournament that you want to compete in, you can secure your launch position for those events. The entries received will be on a first in first out basis.
For example; If you sent in $300 to preregister for all of the events and are the first entry received you will secure the first out launch position for all of the events. You can preregister for all or some of the events and secure a better launch position. Then on the day of the events you will pay the remaining $100 of the entry fee.
This is the best way to go! We are anticipating a very big year for the Team Series and expect the participation to exceed 50 boats per event. We all know as anglers that launch position is very important in tournaments this size and can give you the advantage.
The preregistration fee is nonrefundable and insures that the payout always remains as high as possible.
These tournaments are open to all two angler teams and membership to the IBN is not required.
Just like last year we will send the highest placed teams by points to the Bassmaster Team Championship to compete for a seat in the 2016 Bassmaster Classic. The more teams that participate in the series the more teams we will send.
We will also hold our Illinois Team Series Classic for the top 20 teams at the end of the season. If your team wins an event you will get an invite to the classic. The remaining 14 spots will be filled by the teamâ€™s pointâ€™s position in the final standings. The IBN is looking forward to another great year for our IBN Illinois Team Series Tournaments. For more information regarding the Team Series visit us on Facebook or go to www.bassmaster.com.
by Frank Labanowski, Tournament Director
Back for another season as a sponsor for the Team Series and High School Series is Mystery Tackle Box. If you have been at any of the events last year you have seen their Banner and product at our weigh-in sites. For the 2015 season we will again be giving out Mystery Tackle Boxes at our events. A Big Thanks to our sponsor and check them out on the web at www.MysteryTackleBox.com or Facebook.com/MysteryTackleBox and Twitter.com/MysteryTackleBx .
The 2015 IBN Presidents conferenced will be hosted Saturday, February 21st at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Streator, IL. Check-in will begin at 8am, and the meeting will come to order at 9am. Rooms have been blocked at the Town & Country Inn at $60 / night (plus applicable tax). Club presidents who are in town Friday are invited to an open bar with appetizers from 8-10pm at the Knights of Columbus hall. Doughnuts, coffee and juice will be served for the Saturday morning session, and lunch will be provided. We look forward to seeing everyone there and kicking off another great season!
Town & Country Inn
2110 N. Bloomington St
Streator, IL 61364
Knights of Columbus Hall
806 Oakley Ave
Streator, IL 61364
Ian McDonald, a member of the Prairie State Bassmasters, represented the IBN at the Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Championship in Monroe Louisiana on the Ouachita River.
It was not easy for Ian to get there. During last yearâ€™s season he competed in his club to qualify for the IBN State Championship and Divisional Team Qualifier. He needed to be one of the top anglers in his club to qualify. From that event he placed in the top 12 and became one of the anglers on the 2014 IBN Divisional Team. From there he competed at the B.A.S.S. Nation Northern Divisional Championship on Lake Monroe in Indiana. At that event Ian was shooting for a spot at the National Championship to compete for a seat in the super bowl of bass fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.
Ian took first place for the team and was on his way to Louisiana on the Ouachita River.
Although Ian brought over 12 lbs of fish to the scale, with 2 limits, the tournament result was not what he was hoping for.
Ian McDonald was just a few fish away from competing in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.
Over 20,000 B.A.S.S. Nation anglers competed throughout the year to get to that tournament and the Illinois Bass Nation along with all of the members want to congratulate Ian for this accomplishment.
The results are in for the Make A Wish drawing. Bob Pyzynafrom Arlington Heights won a first prize of $3,000.00. 2nd prize went Stephanie Beamer from the Champagne-Urbana area, worth $1,500.00. 3rd place went to Ryan Robinson, who earned a 500.00 Bass Pro Shops gift card. Now get ready for 2015. Don't forget to get your ticket for that drawing!
On September 20th and 21st the IBN held the 2014 Team Series Classic at Lake Sara. The top 20 teams for the season were invited to compete at this event. Anthony Acres was the tournament headquarters and location for the weigh in and all of the anglers that competed stayed at Anthony Acres and what a great event it was.
At the end of day one John Czajkoski and Kevin Rebouche took the lead with 15.31 lbs and had Big Bass for the day as well at 4.98 lbs. In second place, three and a half pounds behind the leaders, were Clay Reeves and Dan Weikle and in 3rd place sat Alex Peric and Steve Mui.
That evening everyone participated in a barbeque followed by an awards presentation. As part of the Bassmaster Team Series our trail will be sending our top 2 teams to the Bassmaster Team Championship. At the Championship they will compete for a seat at the Bassmaster Classic in February.
We took time out to present the two teams, Mel Hedrick and Ed Trevino, Bob Blumenstein and Eric Powley, with plaques commemorating their efforts for the year.
Sunday began with a storm passing through just before take-off and everyone was anticipating a different bite.
As the boats came in the anticipation was right, the bite had changed. Many of the teams that caught fish the first day did not do so well on day two. It came down to making the right adjustments.
Josh Robey and Brent Lundstrom sat in 10th place with 4.64 lbs. at take-off and made a charge weighing in 12.58 lbs for a total of 17.22 lbs. putting them on the hot seats. They sat there for some time and then there were 2 more teams to weigh in. Alex Peric and Steve Mui weighed in 11.30 Lbs for a total weight of 21.10 Lbs. and took over the hot seats. The only team left was the day one leaders, John Czajkoski and Kevin Rebouche and they needed close to 6 lbs to take over the lead. Well they made the right adjustments to the bite and brought 14.82 lbs to the scale and taking big bass at 4 53 lbs. as well. Congratulations to John and Kevin as they weighed in 30.13 lbs for the two day event.
The IBN would like to thank Anthony Acres fort their warm hospitality and great accommodations. Give Tony a call at 217-868-2950 or email: email@example.com to set up your get away weekend.