Everything around here seems to have a connection to Abraham Lincoln or the Chicago Bears. Not a lot of bass history in these parts. In fact, if you break All-Star Week into two events, they will be just the seventh and eighth B.A.S.S. tournaments ever held in Illinois and the first since the 2000 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Michigan out of Chicago.
What’s even rarer is a B.A.S.S. tournament winner from Illinois. In more than 600 professional tournaments, there have only been two. Joe Verbeck of Belleville won on Lake Seminole in 1969 and Tom Burns of Carbondale won on Kerr Reservoir (Buggs Island) in 1995. Of course, that list won’t grow any this week since none of the all stars are from Illinois.
And in 42 Bassmaster Classics, only six anglers have represented Illinois in the world championship.