Hononegah bass fishing wraps up season with best finish ever at the State Championships


Colton Boelkes and Mason Lambert of the Hononegah bass fishing team riding in the boat to their fishing hole.

At the 2023 IHSA Bass Fishing Championships, Hononegah students Colton Boelkes, and Mason Lambert were frustrated by not getting a fish on the board on day one. However, on the second day, they got three fish in the boat and the Hononegah bass fishing team was able to finish 15th overall with a total of 7 pounds 3 ounces.

This year’s IHSA Bass Fishing Championship tournament was a small glimpse into what fishing can be: frustration, friendship, and fun. When the fish aren't biting, sometimes we have time to look around at the world for a moment. I can only imagine what Colton and Mason must have been thinking about on Friday, from finishing 18th in 2021 with a two-day total of 8 pounds 1/16 ounce to garnering a 20th place finish last year with a two-day total of two pounds 12 ounces. The 15th-place overall finish this year is their best on record, according to the IHSA website.

2023 Hononegah High School bass fishing team, Rockton, IL

Research says fishing is 40,000 years old and not much has changed when the fish aren’t biting. But the Hononegah fishing team hasn’t had many days over the last four years where the fish weren’t biting with Colton Boelkes and Mason Lambert in the boat. Colton and Mason, along with coaches Bill Heller and Sharon Bowman, have laid quite a nice foundation for the Indian bass fishing team moving forward.

Thank you to Sharon Bowman, Bill Heller, Jeff Boelkes and IHSA for the information and images used for this story.

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