Frequently Asked Questions | The Future Fishes Here | IHSA

Questions and Answers for IHSA Bass Fishing

Q.       How does a school enter the Bass Fishing Tournament?

A.       Each school may enter online in the Schools Center your school for the bass fishing tournament.  Entries must be submitted by February 1st this year to allow for planning of the first Bass Fishing State Tournament.

Q.       How many student(s) can a school enter?     

A.       A school may enter one or two boats for the State Bass Fishing Tournament.  Each boat may have one to four students listed on its roster.  Only two students may be in the boat at any one time.  The boat may go back to the dock and exchange a student for another any time during tournament fishing hours.

Q.       Does the school have to provide the boat?

A.       Each school will be responsible to provide the boat and one adult driver (coach) for that boat.  No student will be allowed to operate the outboard motor on the boat.  The adult will be responsible for operating the outboard motor and may not exceed a speed limit of 25 miles per hour or the lake limit if the speed limit is below 25 miles per hour. Either a student or the coach/adult may operate the trolling motor.

Q.       How does a school get a boat?

A.       Many bass clubs across the state of Illinois have offered their services to the schools.  There is a complete list of the bass clubs and the contact person listed on the IHSA web site.  The bass clubs have also offered adults to the captain of the boat if a school would like to utilize their services.

Q.       Can a coach net a fish for a participant during competition?

A.      The captain/coach of the boat may make suggestions but may not fish in any respect, including tying lures, netting fish, and handling fish or gear. If a team has only one participant on the boat, the captain/coach may net the fish if asked by the participant.

Q.       Can a coach undo a snagged line for one of his/her participants?

A.       If a participant gets his/her line snagged, the participant needs to remedy the situation. A coach may talk his/her participant through the situation, but the actual 'doing' needs to be done by the participant.

Q.       Does a coach/sponsor have to be ASEP-certified?

A.       A person only needs to be approved by the local school board as the IHSA considers bass fishing an activity, not a sport, and therefore the coaches do not have to meet the sport coaching by-law.

Q.       When does the season start?

A.       There is not a designated season for bass fishing.  A coach may meet year-round with the students and contests with other schools may be scheduled at any time.

Q.       When and where will the state series be held?

A.       The sectional tournament will be Thursday, May 2, 2019, at designated lakes across Illinois. The state finals will be May 17 and 18, 2019. Once the sectional and state final lakes are determined, the IHSA will post that information on the bass fishing website.

Q.       What resources are available to the member schools?

A.       There are links on this site that provide many resources for the school and sponsor/coach to utilize during the year with the student participants.

Q.       Who provides the equipment?

A.       The students will provide all the equipment necessary to fish in the tournament, like the rods, reel artificial bait, nets, etc.  The school will be responsible to secure the boat for the participants.

Q.       What about insurance?

A.     The IHSA provides catastrophic coverage for both the sectional and state final tournament.  The schools will be responsible for any equipment as in any other sport or activity the IHSA conducts.

Q.       Is the Alabama Rig legal for state series competition?

A.     The Alabama Rig, or other multiple rig variations, is prohibited during any IHSA Bass Fishing State Series competition.