Jonathan Metelski (left) and John Neubauer, of Oak Lawn Community High School, show off their catches. | Supplied photo
More than 170 high school anglers from 21 schools were out to prove they were the “reel deal” in the recent 2013 Rayjus Outdoors — Oak Lawn Community High School Bass Tournament held on the Kankakee/Des Plaines River at the Des Plaines Conservation Area.
Oak Lawn’s John Neubauer and Jon Metelski finished in 17th place with two bass but apparently had fun along the way.
“Before the clouds rolled in, the fishing was hot,” Neubauer said in a press release. “We were fishing a large weed flat, and the fish were choking down our stick baits, but most of the fish were just short of the 12-inch minimum.”
Hinsdale Central High School duo Jeff Hopkins and Christian Sona won the tournament with 7.52 pounds, the release said. Hopkins caught the tournament’s big bass by trying to cast under a dock, only to have his bait get stuck in a crack.
“It was dangling there and a big bass came up and swooped at it twice. The third time, he nailed it,” Hopkins said in the release.
The bass weighed in at 3.14 pounds, making it the largest bass caught in the four-year history of the tournament, according to the press release.
Luke Jasper and Jake Lepczynski, of Lemont High School, said they paid close attention to the changing weather to help them claim second place.
“In the morning, when the weather was warm, we caught our fish on top-water frogs in the weeds,” Jasper said.
“As the weather got colder, we slowed things down and we started catching them on green pumpkin shaky heads and wacky rigs,” Lepczynski said.
Minooka High School had the team of Luke Brozovich and Colton Welch finishing in third (5.92 pounds), and Dan DeGraaf and Noah Arnold taking fifth (5.20).
Brothers Matt and Tyler Bomba, of Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, claimed fourth place with 5.88 pounds.
Of the 48 boats, anglers from 33 of them caught fish eligible to be weighed in, according to the release.