Saint Viator’s bass fishing team is making quite a name for itself. For the second time since the team was formed (2009), these anglers are heading to the state tournament.
Luke Altman ’23, Lucas Doland ’22, and Colton Faulkner ’23 were on the qualifying boat, with their combined catch of 11.9 pounds of bass. Their catch—hauled on May 5 at the Busse Woods Reservoir— was good enough for second place and a berth to the state tournament.
The team has received support from some notable alumni, including Jonathan Barzacchini ’14 – known as Jon B in the fishing world on YouTube (1.7M subscribers)
and Instagram – as well as, Nicholas DeMunno ’21, Will Christie ’21, and Jim DeMunno ’84.
Another alumnus, Br. Peter Lamick ’07, moderates the team. He explains that for IHSA tournaments, the team with the five heaviest fish wins. Consequently, winning is based on the total weight of a maximum of five fish.
"It has been an absolute blast to be the moderator of the bass fishing club," Br. Peter says. "I enjoy the outdoors and getting to know the students through one of their passions. I just love the opportunity to be able to provide them with experiences that they can enjoy and make some memories."
Now they are working hard to research the topography, fishing outlook, and weather conditions of the site for the state tournament, which opens on May 20.
Since the activity’s inception with the IHSA, the two-day state tournament has taken place at Carlyle Lake in downstate Illinois. It is the largest man-made lake in the state, with more than 25,000 acres of water and 2,360 pounds of fish per acre. It is stocked every year with several varieties of fish, including one of its primary species, largemouth bass.
"I discovered that there are a lot of students at Saint Viator who are passionate about fishing,” Br. Peter says. “We have had great participation in the club and state tournament. While most schools only have a few participants, we have always had about 10 students active in the club.”
Most of these anglers are also on spring sports, consequently, the club meets every other week or so to discuss fishing and organize events. They also have held weekend fishing opportunities throughout the spring.
While this is the second time Saint Viator has qualified for state, it will be the first time its club members will compete. Back in 2011, when the team first qualified—under the leadership of Mr. Ray Nowak—its members were committed to other events the weekend of state, and the team had to pull out.
Not this year. Saint Viator’s fishermen are serious about the sport and they look forward to the challenge of finding where the bass are in this giant lake and how to haul them in.