Updated: Canton takes first place in state bass fishing finals
Prairie State Outdoors
Conditions were not ideal, but that did not keep Canton from celebrating a state championship Saturday in the bass fishing state finals at Carlyle Lake.
The sophomore trio of Denton Cox, Gage Hammond and David Weyers earned the Little Giants their first team-sport state title in 83 years by catching a two-day total of five fish that weighed a cumulative 14 pounds, 6 ounces in the rain-shortened event.
Canton finished 1 pound, 9 ounces ahead of runner-up Farina South Central, which caught seven fish.
“It’s great to have a local team win it this year,” Canton coach Chuck Davis said about a tournament shortened to five hours Friday and three Saturday because of storm fronts. “It was tough fishing for everyone (Saturday). You didn’t have a lot of time to fish.”
Thanks in part to a 5.8-pound fish Cox caught Friday on a spinner bait, Canton came into the final day with a 1½-pound lead.
“That got us over the top and put a target on our backs,” Davis said about Cox’s catch and the first-day lead.
While other teams were limited to smaller fish, Weyers hooked a 3-pound, seven ounce bass using plastics Saturday to help Canton secure the title.
Davis credited good practice sessions Wednesday and Thursday that led to a prime location on the lake.
“We just found an area nobody was around,” Davis said. “It was an area the boys could catch some fish the way they like to fish.”
Canton fished the area alone Friday. But on Saturday, four other teams joined the Giants.
Canton’s championship trio was joined by boat captain Jerry Welker, from Farmington.
The only other team state title for Canton, according to state records, came in 1928 in boys basketball. Canton beat Aurora West 18-9 in the championship game that year.
Canton is the second Journal Star-area school in a row to win the bass fishing title. Illini West won it last season.
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