Marist High School conquers Shelbyville Lake in Strong Field to Win Illinois SAF State Championship

Nicholas Engel and Nicklas Kushnerik brought in an impressive 4-fish sack weighing 12 lbs 12 oz to win the 2012 Illinois SAF High School Fishing State Championship on Shelbyville. The Marist High School duo used a June bug colored shakyhead to catch the majority of the fish on their way to the winning effort.   “We came down here on Thursday to pre-fish and struggled to find fish all day. Finally on Friday we were able to put a few things together and catch a few fish and that was the winning pattern that led us to victory,” stated Engel. “We are really excited to be advancing on and fishing the conference championship on Lake Carlyle. We fished that lake in the Illinois High School Association in the past and have always done well there,” State the team, who is excited the Conference Championship will be hosted in their home state this fall.

The state champions outdistanced the 2nd place team of Nicholas Scapecchi and Seth Bales from Farmington High School who brought in a 5 fish limit weighing 11 lbs 4 oz. Rounding out the top 3 was Matthew Henley and Jack Waggoner from Edinburg High School who also brought a 5 fish limit to the scales weighing 9 lbs 13 oz to finish 3rd.

Twenty-eight high school teams from around the state of Illinois shared the weekend fishing activities with both the BFL adult tournament and the FLW college event which turned the Shelbyville Lake launch ramp area into a tournament fishing bonanza for the weekend.


The Student Angler Federation Championship Series continues this week with high school state championships in Massachusetts, Kansas and West Virginia.

If you’re interested in starting a High School Fishing club at your school, please visit for details on the Student Angler Federation (SAF). Cost is only $25/ year and includes full TBF and FLW Outdoors benefits, including access to the all-new FLW Outdoors Magazine e-Edition and insurance coverage for students and their club.

The winning two-person team from each state championship will advance to an FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing Conference Championship held in conjunction with a National Guard FLW College Fishing Conference Championship. Those winners will advance to the FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing National Championship held in conjunction with the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship in the spring of 2013.

All SAF members and state championship participants qualify for the largest event in high school fishing, the 2012 High School Fishing World Finals to compete for thousands of dollars in college scholarships and prizes. Each team that qualifies for a conference and/or national championship will receive a travel allowance to help offset expenses. The National Champions will also each receive a $5,000 scholarship to use at the university of their choice.

For information on how to join the new and exciting sport of high school bass fishing, visit Find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @hs_fishing.