The Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation
Youth, Conservation, Competition, and Community Service

2013 IBN Classic Winners

2013 State Team

Congratulations To Tom Kotsakis & Mark Fosterud!

Make-A-Wish Raffle Winner

2013 State Team

Congratulations To Dennis Schultz of Taylorville!

National Sponsors

State Sponsors

Recent News

Pool 13 Tournaments moved due to unsafe conditions!! (Highschool AND Team Series)

Team Series Members

Pool 13 has been well over flood stage for a few weeks now and all reports are that the river will remain very high till mid August. The Army Corp and lock masters say that there is an excessive amount of debris flowing down river from the high water and it would not be safe to run the pool.

Due to the high and unsafe water conditions at Pool 13 we have moved the location for the next Team Series event to the Cal Sag. Dates will remain the same for both events.

July 19th will still be the date for the High School tournament, and July 20th will be the team series tournament.

We will launch from the Alsip ramp located just west of 127th and Cicero Ave. This is just off the route 294 at the Cicero exit.

Team Series entry forms available here
High School entry forms available here
High School rules available here

From 294 east exit at Cicero Ave. and turn right on to 127th Street. Go about 1/4 mile to So. Laramie Ave (just before the bridge) and turn right. Follow the road all the way to the end.

1. We will begin to take entries / registration for the tournament at the ramp by 4:30 am.
2. There is a launch fee of $7.00 that is the responsibility of each team to be paid when you launch.
3. I would like to take off before 6 am so please be in the water and ready to go by 6 am.
4. Return time will be 2:00 pm first flight and 2:15 pm second flight.

I have attached a revised entry form for those who need one.
Hotels in the area that are located with in a 1/2 mile of the ramp are:

Days Inn Alsip Hotel 5150 W 127th St, Alsip, IL, (708) 371-5600

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chicago - Alsip 5000 W 127th St, Alsip, IL, (708) 371-7300

For a map of the area and launch ramp go to

See you on July 20th!!!

Questions please email.

IBN Club Presidents Please pass this information on to your members as well. Thanks

Frank Labanowski
Tournament Director
Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation

Dan Brown 2014 IBN State Champion

On May 31st-June 1st, at Lake Carlyle, the IBN held the annual State Qualifier / Championship Tournament. 20 clubs from across the state sent their top 6 anglers to compete for a spot on the IBN State Divisional Team for 2015. Carlyle proved to be a great bass fishery and the anglers brought to the scale 832 lbs. of bass over the two day event with 90% of the field weighing in fish. At the end of day one Brad Norris had the lead over 2nd place Dan Brown and 3rd place Ray Dallas by 3 lbs. The next 6 positions were only separated by 1 lb. Big Bass for Saturday went to Rob Melendez with w 6.16 Lb hawg.

Individual Weight
1 Brad Norris 14.49
2 Dan Brown 11.38
3 Ray Dallas 11.34
4 David Junk 11.09
5 Mark Peterson 10.70
6 Raul Gonzalez 10.66
7 Mike Pappas 10.43
7 Bill Baker 10.43
9 Rob Melendez 10.38
10 Scott Orban 9.87
11 Ryan Robinson 9.27
12 Mark Emenecker 9.22
13 Luis Gonzalez 9.21

Rob Memendez Big Bass

Sunday at take off the top 13 knew they had to stay consistent to hold a seat on the Divisional Team for 2015. The day started off great just a slight breeze and a little clouds. In the afternoon, an hour before weigh in, the sky turned dark and the rain fell. It was a drenching storm that lasted about 30 min and cleared out just as the boats began to return to the launch. As the weights began to rise, Ken Oldham came to the scale and took Big Bass for Sunday with a 6 lb pig. As the weigh in progressed the hot seat holder changed several times and soon we were down to the last 3 anglers. Mark Emenecker made a charge from 12th place and sat in the hot seat with 21.40 lbs. Dave Norris was next to weigh in and fell short with a 2 day total of 20.04 lbs. The last angler to weigh in was Dan Brown and he came to the scale with a 5 fish limit and needed a little over 10 lbs to take the lead. The scale stopped at 11.96 lbs giving Dan a total for the two days at 23.34 lbs. Dan Brown just became the 2014 IBN State Champion and will be the Team Captain on the 2015 IBN State Divisional Team. Congratulations Dan!!

Sunday /
Final Rank
Individual Weight
1 Dan Brown 23.34
2 Mark Emenecker 21.40
3 Brad Norris 20.04
4 Mark Peterson 19.98
5 Curt Samo 17.31
6 Tom Ondras 16.79
7 Mike Pappas 16.74
8 Dave Norris 16.02
9 Vaughn Capasso 15.30
10 Raul Gonzalez 15.02
11 Rob Melendez 13.82
12 Dave Thompson 13.55
13 Scott Orban 13.26

Ken Oldham 6.0 Lbs. Big Bass

Congratulations to Dan Brown and all of the anglers that secured a position on the 2015 State Divisional Team. I would like to thank our IBN sponsors that help to make our event special. Motor Guide, Mercury, Bass Pro Shop, Minn Kota, Lowrance, Plano, Hummingbird, Power Pole, Skeeter Yamaha, Solar Bat, Prime Lawn Care, Mystery Tackle Box, Toyota, Triton, Pure Fishing, Evans Williams, BB&A Accountants and Minuteman Press. Thank you for all of your support. A special thanks to all of the anglers that competed for your cooperation and help during the event.

~ By Frank Labanowski IBN Tournament Director.

2014 State Tournament Day 2 Results

2014 State Tournament Day 1 Standings

2014 State Tournament Rules

Norris and Robinson take round 2 at Clinton

On May 18th the IBN Team Series came back to Clinton Lake for the second time and the 4th tournament in the Team Series. The weather was great and so was the fishing. Soon after launching the shy cleared and remained that till just after noon. There was a good bite all day and when the clouds began to move in the bite really turned up. Many of the anglers said they caught there bigger fish in the last hour of the tournament. As the boats checked in we all knew Clinton was going to show off some great fish at the weigh-in. The Big Bass changed 4 times before Brad Norris and Ryan Robinson came up with a 6.60 lb. pig. That fish topped off their winning weight of 17.57 lbs. In 2nd Place were Alex Peric and Steve Mui with 16.28 lbs, in 3rd Place, Clay Reeves and Daniel Weikle with 15.48 lbs and in 4th were Bob Blumenstein and Eric Powley with 11.70 lbs.

Special Thanks to Plano, our featured sponsor for this event. Plano supplied some great products that were given away at the tournament. On behalf of Plano an extra $100 was also added to the Big Bass pot. Great sponsor and great tournament.

For more information about the IBN Team Series and Bassmaster Team Championship go to www.illinoisbassnation or . Our next tournament will be at Pool 13 on July 20th out of Savanna. By Frank Labanowski – IBN Tournament Director

See the photos on Facebook!

Reeves and Weikle take top honors at Clinton - Lake Clinton (May) Team Series Results

On May 4th Clinton Lake was the location for the third IBN Team Series Tournament for this season and the weather cooperated and so did the fish. It was calm and overcast at takeoff but before long the sky cleared, a slight breeze began and the anglers welcomed the sunshine. When the scale opened Clinton Lake began to show off the health bass that occupy this wonderful fishery. The weight of the Big Bass changed several time during the weigh-in and finally a 6.26 lbs. Hawg was brought up by Steve Mui and held on the take the Big Bass pot for the event.

But when it was over, Clay Reeves, of Hayworth and Daniel Weikle from Maroa, teamed up to get the victory over Josh Robey and Brent Lundstrom by 4 tenths of a pound. Clay and Daniel’s limit weighed in At 14.37 Lbs. In Second Place, Josh and Brent with 14.04 Lbs. and in Third, Dave Huston and Cory Mundwiler with 12.61 Lbs.

See the photos on Facebook!

Robinson and Norris take Team Series at Carlyle - Lake Carlyle Team Series Results

It was a cool morning and the breeze started to pick up at launch time. The day was very overcast and by noon coming out of the south was 20 to 30 mile an hour winds. The lake looked like chocolate milk and the anglers were fighting to hold the boat on their spots. At weigh in time we heard about the speared waves and lost gear that flew over the side. But with all these distractions the competitors were able to bring in fish to the scale.

The Team of Ryan Robinson and Brad Norris took the top honors with a limit at 13.15 lbs. along with the Big Bass for the event at 3.69 lbs.. In second place was Mel Hedrick and Ed Trevino and in third Josh Bluogh and Jimmy Velino.

See the photos on Facebook!

Lake Springfield Team Series Results

Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship

Dec 9-13, on DeGray Lake out of DeGray Lake Resort State Park Lodge and Convention Center in Bismarck, Ark.

Through this new event, one angler will qualify for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell out of Greenville, S.C. In addition, one two-angler team will emerge as the national champion.

The teams will qualify for the championship through various B.A.S.S.-sanctioned team trails across the country operated independently of B.A.S.S. (For a list of sanctioned trails, go to

After two days of team competition on DeGray Lake, and the crowning of the inaugural Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Champion, the Top 3 teams will be split up. Those six anglers will return to the water to compete for the one Bassmaster Classic spot.

“As we do with the B.A.S.S. Nation program, with this new event we’re reaching grass-roots anglers and giving them a shot at being a Bassmaster Classic competitor,” Stewart said. “Not every angler has the opportunity to turn pro, but this event gives one amateur a shot at competing against top pros in the world championship.”

For more information go to or contact IBN Tournament DirectorFrank Labanowski at

Bassmaster High School Invitational

This event will qualify eight high school teams to compete in the 2015 Bassmaster High School Classic held in conjunction with the pro-level 2015 Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 20-22, in Greenville, S.C.

Any high school club registered with B.A.S.S. can send teams to the Bassmaster High School Invitational. Competition will be on Douglas Lake; weigh-ins will be at the Point Resort in Dandridge.

“Based on the interest in last year’s inaugural High School Invitational, we expect hundreds of boats in the 2014 event,” Stewart said. “This will be a fun event for the anglers and their families. We will have a huge barbecue the night before the tournament, and the anglers can meet other anglers from all over the country with the same passion for bass fishing.”

For information on Registering with B.A.S.S. and competing for this opportunity go to .

Bassmaster High School National Championship

July 16-19, in Tennessee on Kentucky Lake and Carroll County Reservoir. Hosts are Henry and Carroll counties, Bethel University and the Village of Paris, Tenn.

In this event, 96 of the best high school teams in the nation will compete for scholarships and merchandise as well as the first National Championship trophy.

The teams will qualify through individual state B.A.S.S. Nation organizations. Each B.A.S.S. Nation state will send its best two high school teams.

“This is really kicking up the B.A.S.S. high school initiative,” said Jon Stewart, director, B.A.S.S. Nation. “With the competition later aired on ESPNU, the growing high school sport of bass fishing will be showcased like never before.”

The first two days of competition will be on Kentucky Lake with weigh-ins at Paris Landing out of Paris, Tenn. The finalists will compete for two days on Carroll County Reservoir and weigh their catches on the campus of Bethel University in McKenzie, Tenn.

Besides earning the title of national champion, the winning team will receive a share of $21,000 in scholarships from B.A.S.S. as well as merchandise provided by sponsors. In addition, Bethel University will award $40,000 in scholarships; $5,000 a year for four years will go to the Top 2 finishing anglers provided they are either a junior or senior in high school and use the scholarship to attend Bethel University and become a part of the Bethel University Wildcats bass fishing team.

For information on Registering with B.A.S.S. and competing for this opportunity, contact the IBN Tournament Director Frank Labanowski at

B.A.S.S. Launches National Championship For Team Tournament Anglers

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Many of today’s top professional anglers cut their competitive teeth in team tournaments. But to compete at a higher level, they had to leave their fishing buddies behind and strike out on one of the many draw or pro-am circuits.

With the introduction of the Toyota Bassmaster Team Championship, America’s most successful fishing teams will soon be able to prove their skills against competition from throughout the nation.

Read The Full Press Release Here

IBN 2014 Annual Club Presidents Conference

The IBN Board of Directors is gearing up for the annual IBN Club Presidents Conference to be held on January 25th at the Best Western in Schaumburg, IL. This is a mandatory meeting and requires representation from all of the clubs in the IBN. Each club should have two representatives, either their club President and VP or two appointed members.

We are going to have a one day format for the Presidents Conference this year. The conference meetings will be held in the Conference Room. We will begin club check in at 8:00 AM

The agenda for the meeting is stacked with many topics for discussion and information regarding the 2014 fishing season events and tournaments as well as guest speakers and should adjourn by 4:00 PM.

Best Western, Schaumburg has a block of rooms set aside for any members participating in the 2014 Presidents Conference.

IBN Tournament Series leads to the Bassmaster Classic

The Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation has teamed up with B.A.S.S. and the Bassmaster Team Championship.

By fishing the IBN Open Tournament Series you have a chance to get to the Bassmaster Classic. During the 2014 season the top teams, yes teams, will be headed to a national tournament called the Bassmaster Team Championship. At that event a National Champion will move on to compete at the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.

The entry forms for the tournaments, overview and requirements to participate will be available on the Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation web site very soon. The tournament schedule for 2014 is now available and we hope to see you at our IBN Open Tournament events.

It’s going to be a great season!

Mike Sledden / IBN President

During the IBN Board meeting the election results were announced. Congratulations to:

Mike Sledden – President
Mike Daniel - V. President
Ralph Sweat - Region 1 Director
Joe Cupp - Region 3 Director

Also, Gerald Sobkowiak (Flic) was appointed and approved by the board to be the interim Region 2 Director.

Junk / Maisenbacher Switch for B.A.S.S. Nationals

While getting his boat ready for the B.A.S.S. National tournament Dave Junk slipped off the boat and wrenched his back. Having had back issues in the past Dave knew that he probably would not be able to compete at the tournament. Following a special appointment on Sunday with his doctor Dave called and confirmed that this would not be his year for a shot at the Bassmaster Classic.

Jamie Maisenbacher weighing in at B.A.S.S. Northern Divisional Tournament

After confirming with B.A.S.S. on the rules concerning substitutions I placed a call to Jamie Maisenbacher. Jamie was the second place contender for Illinois at the Northern Divisional and is next in line to fill Dave’s spot. I explained the situation to Jamie and the decision was his. A little later Sunday evening he called and said he was in and 6 hours later he was on his way to Russellville Arkansas and Lake Dardanelle.

Jamie Maisenbacher weighing in at B.A.S.S.
Northern Divisional Tournament

2012 Make-A-Wish Raffle Winner Announced!

2013 State Team

The winner of the boat is Dennis Schultz of Taylorville, IL. Dennis is a great dad, as he gave the boat to his son Anthony!

The winner of the $500 gift card is Mike Cass of Bloomington Il.
Mike Cass has until December 31st to contact the IBN to claim his prize.

Congratulations to Dave Junk!

Dave Junk is the 2013 Illinois Champion and will compete in the B.A.S.S. Nationals.

Photo Slide Show - Divisional Team Day 3 - Francis Case

View all in our media gallery

Follow the Northern Divisional Online @ or CLICK HERE!

Photo Slide Show - Divisional Team Day 2 - Francis Case

View all in our media gallery

Follow the Northern Divisional Online @ or CLICK HERE!

Photo Slide Show - Divisional Team Day 1 - Francis Case

View all in our media gallery

Follow the Northern Divisional Online @ or CLICK HERE!

Des Plaines Open Results