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Fish or no fish, bass fishing sectionals loom

Shabbona Lake served as fishing goose egg – not fishing hole – for Chronicle-area anglers when Marmion hosted fall and spring tournaments there.

Zero keepers accompanied any boats on both occasions, setting an inviting standard for Monday’s IHSA Shabbona Lake Sectional.

“Hopefully some of the kids will catch fish,” Geneva coach Tom Anderson said. “That’s the big thing.”

It could be a war of attrition when 17 boats converge on the lake for the competition, which was postponed from Friday because of the weather.

Students from St. Charles East, St. Charles North, Batavia, Geneva, Kaneland, Marmion and Aurora Christian will fish from all but four of the boats. Each presumably knows how to adapt his or her strategy in light of the recent cool, wet and windy spells.

“It’s early in the year fishing, so the fish tend to be a little bit less active and still in the deeper water,” Kaneland coach Chuck Wehrmann said. “We talked about different conditions, how the fish are going to react and what things could possibly be like that day.”

Monday’s forecast calls for highs in the mid-60s with winds around 12 mph. That weather more closely resembles what a handful of teams from Batavia and Marmion experienced when they traveled to downstate Lake Jacksonville this past weekend.

While the group officially contested a three-round dual meet, the two-day trip ultimately doubled as a campout. Batavia’s Matt Fors reeled in the biggest catch, a bass weighing 6.17 pounds.

“I think that was a good experience for the students,” Marmion coach Joe Large said. “Hopefully, that will lead to some success on Monday.”

Given the recent exploits at Shabbona Lake, even a meager haul would figure to excite participants. Entering the fifth season of the bass fishing state series, the rules remain the same.

The top three boats from each sectional statewide advance to the state tournament at downstate Carlyle Lake from May 3 and 4.

Each boat counts it top five keepers, and no fish measuring less than 12 inches is admitted.

East, North and Marmion sent boats to the state tournament last spring.

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