KINKAID LAKE – The Bass Fishing Team came away from their most recent event with another great finish. The Illinois State Championship was held in tandem with the Illinois Bass Nation Qualifier this past Saturday. It presented the opportunity to fish two events at one time.
The junior duo of Cordell Beckmann and Dru Johnson brought a five fish limit weighing 14.26 pounds to the scales to solidify their second place finish. The field consisted of 27 other teams from a number of Illinois universities. The Greenville team of Cale Jausel and Ricky Huge also placed 10th, weighing two fish for 4.29 pounds. Evan Seggerman and Jordan Phillips were able to bring one fish to the scales at 2.44 pounds.
Both the Illinois State Championship and Illinois Bass Nation events presented a unique opportunity for the anglers.
The Illinois State Championship is hosted by the team who won the previous year. Winning the event guarantees hosting privileges for the next year, as well as the right to take home the traveling trophy.
The Illinois Bass Nation Qualifier allows any Illinois team a chance at qualifying for the Bassmaster College National Championship. The winner of the IBN Qualifier automatically secures a spot in the Championship, and therefore does not have to attempt to qualify through the regular season Bassmaster events.
While Beckmann and Johnson were just short of winning both events, they were pleased with their second place finishes.
Although conditions seemed as if they would make for tough fishing, the below freezing temperatures and stiff winds did not keep the top two teams from bringing in good bags of fish. Typically, a swing towards colder temperatures in the fall can create tough fishing conditions, but Beckmann and Johnson were able to read the changing conditions well and still manage to find quality fish. The team used a variety of techniques to put together their five fish limit.
The second place finish will earn the team more valuable School of the Year points. Going into the event, Greenville University was sitting in 19th place out of 300 nationally ranked schools. The second place finish has the potential to move the team up into 17th place.
This event represents the last tournament for the calendar year. There is not much of a break for the team however, as the spring season starts earlier than ever. The first Bassmaster College event will be held January 23 – 25 on Toledo Bend Lake. The lake is located on the Texas – Louisiana border, and will likely present prime fishing conditions, even early in the year. During the short break, the team plans to attend fishing shows in Collinsville and Chicago to work with our sponsors and recruit new members.