State Bass Fishing: Brother Rice tandem wins Des Plaines Conservation Area Sectional
By Dale Bowman For Sun-Times Media April 25, 2014 8:02PM
Updated: April 26, 2014 6:47PM
Joe Hays and Brendan Moriarty worked a big-fish strategy to perfection on a big-bass Friday.
The Brother Rice seniors won the inaugural Des Plaines Conservation Area Sectional of the IHSA Bass Fishing Tournament at the Big Basin Marina in Channahon with five largemouth weighing 12.51 pounds.
“We were throwing back 2-pounders,’’ Moriarty said.
They had their five keepers by 11 a.m., and culled six or seven the rest of the day. Keepers are black bass (largemouth or smallmouth in our area) of 12 inches or longer. Culling is the strategy of replacing live keepers with heavier bass caught later.
Hays caught their anchor largemouth of 3.78 pounds at 9 a.m.
“I was flipping a tube on a stump,’’ he said.
They are both experienced in fishing the area around the confluence of the Kankakee and Des Plaines rivers at the headwaters of the Illinois River.
Experienced, and confident enough to change up.
“We decided to do something different,’’ Moriarty said.
That was working slower with jigs and tubes on “deep water near shallow flats.’’
Second was Brother Rice’s second team of Dan Malone, Rob Abrham, Adan Magnan and Pat Nielsen with 11.92. Magnan caught their anchor fish, a 4.04-pound largemouth, on a green crankbait.
The top three boats (each school could enter up to two boats) advance to the state finals, held May 9 and 10 on Carlyle Lake. Each boat had an adult driver with up to two student fishermen, who may be rotated in and out.
St. Laurence’s team of Joe Perepechko, Justin Shepherd, Connor Reno and Santo Munizzi was third with 11.66 pounds. Munizzi, who caught the big fish of the day — a fat 4.8-pound largemouth — throwing crankbaits.
All the big bass had veteran streams biologist Bob Rung marveling.
“I have never shocked them that big,’’ he said. “I should have them do the surveys.’’
It was not just big bass, nearly all largemouth, that made the day, but lots of them. Only two boats did not weigh keepers and 16 boats weighed in 58 keepers.
This is the sixth year for the IHSA’s groundbreaking bass fishing tournament.