The Western Illinois University team of Tim Himsl, a communications major, and Cass Waddle, a wildlife conservation and management major, took second place at the competition. They brought two largemouth bass to the scales for a total of 3 pounds.
Like the college champs, they got an early bite, then spent the rest of the day waiting for the occasional unproductive nibble.
“We caught our first keeper within in the first hour, and the second half an hour later, then it just shut off,” Himsl said. “It was tough, but we knew it would be from watching the pros. All of our time pre-fishing was just watching them. We’re pretty proud of our two fish.”
Himsl, a senior, was primarily fishing reaction baits, alternating between a crankbait and jerkbait, when he caught the team’s first bass.
Freshman Waddle was trying plastic crawfish and jigs when he caught the team’s second bass half an hour later.
The two learned only two weeks ago they would be fishing in the Carhartt Bassmaster College competition. Neither had fished Lake Shelbyville, but they both knew their work was cut out for them.
“It was rough, but it was a really good opportunity for us,” Himsl said.
Also competing in the tournament were Cody Sullivan and Jake Jagust of the University of Illinois; Matthew Sells and Conrad Keefe of the University of Illinois; Brock Phillips and Devon Loftus of the University of Illinois; Brian Souza and Jake Bouldin of Illinois State University; Steve Jurgens and David Haag of Illinois State University; Chris Walter and Anthony Cancelli of Illinois State University; Bryce Wegman and Kyle Shevlin of Illinois State University; Dominik DiNovo and Aaron Porterfield of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; Jon Dye and Gage Elder of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; Kyle Szychilinski and Philip Germaglotti of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; Oliver Burnett and Joey Gallagher of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; Steve McClone and A.J. Martineck of Northern Illinois University; and Dan Martin and Tyler McCune of Western Illinois University.