|Posted Online: April 22, 2012, 7:10 pm
Moline bass anglers heading to state
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Bob Groene, firstname.lastname@example.org
Moline High School bass anglers Devon Gamboe (left) and John Berhenke happily show their four keepers just after winning the IHSA Sectional Bass Tournament at Argyle Lake. They will move on to the state finals to be held next month at Caylyle Lake.
It was more than a chilly, breezy day for the 22 boats of anxious young anglers competing in the Argyle Lake Illinois High School Association Sectional Bass Tournament. Temperatures that barely topped 50 degrees coupled with some drizzle and strong winds made for quite uncomfortable conditions, especially for those with bare hands holding fishing rods.
“It was cold as cold could be,” Moline High School senior Devon Gamboe said at the weekend weigh-in. “I had hand warmers in two pockets and in my boots to try to keep warm, but I was still cold.”
However, Gamboe and his partner, junior John Berhenke, didn’t let the chill stop them from catching four keepers weighing a total of 5.13 pounds to win the sectional crown and punch their ticket to the IHSA state championship that will be held early next month.
“We each caught two keepers and together probably about 10 shorts (bass under the 12-inch minimum size limit),” Berhenke said. “We caught fish on jigs, plastic craws and crank baits.”
Also earning a trip to the state finals were teams from Illini West-Carthage (anglers Taylor Blythe, a sophomore, and Harold Northup, a freshman) and Cambridge (anglers Alex VanWatermuelen and Isaak Woodruff, both sophomores) who finished in second and third places, respectively.
“I had the easy job,” MHS coach Tim Albrecht said after the weigh-in. “All I had to do was run the boat and I could keep my hands in my pockets. I’m really proud of our kids, all the kids who fished, it was really uncomfortable out there. Devon and John fished real hard. They just kept grinding away. They kept their lures in the water, which it what it takes to catch fish and win.”
Gamboe and Berhenke will take valuable past experience to the state finals May 9-10 on sprawling Carlyle Lake. Gamboe competed there as both a freshman and junior; Berhenke did so last year as a sophmore.
Bob Groene is outdoors writer for The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus, he can be reached at email@example.com