SHABBONA — Looking to reel in their fifth consecutive appearance in the IHSA State Championship, the Rochelle bass fishing program and head coach Curt Samo leaned on returning anglers Zack Capes and Lucas Anderson to guide the way during the IHSA Sectional at Shabbona Lake on Monday.
Capes and Anderson helped Rochelle take second place in the Shabbona Lake sectional last season, and the two Hubs caught themselves another solid performance this year, hauling in five fish weighing 8.7 pounds to finish third and clinch their second straight spot in the state championship as a duo. The IHSA State Championship will once again take place at Carlyle Lake, and this year’s competition will run from May 17-18.
“It feels absolutely amazing to represent my school at the state level for the second year,” Anderson said. “The conditions were extremely difficult at the sectional, but they improved toward the end of the end of the competition. We performed well together, and if one person needed motivation, the other person supplied it.”
While the Hubs weren’t located in the same part of Shabbona Lake as they anchored their boat last season, Capes and Anderson brought in just enough fish to edge out Indian Creek’s No. 2 team, which placed fourth with 8.4 pounds total. Batavia’s No. 2 team won with 11.05 pounds, while St. Charles North’s No. 2 team finished second with 10.4 pounds. Only the top three teams advance to the state championship.
“It’s a great feeling to make it to state for the second time and we are hoping to finish better at the state championship this year,” Capes said. “Our experience at the state championship last year will help us because it’s a two-day tournament and we know we need to stay motivated the whole time. We know where and how we want to fish… We were close to winning last year, but we struggled the second day so our key will be finishing strong the second day.”