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Illinois hunting and fishing

Ty Heberer of Green Valley (right) and son Andy caught the three largest bluegill on Saturday at Lake Camelot, a trio of fish that weighed 1.93 pounds. Heberer also had a .91-pound crappie that was just out of the money.

Camelot yields plenty of fish

January 31, 2010 at 06:16 PM

Central Illinois’ Triple Crown of Ice Fishing started with plenty of cold, plenty of fish and plenty of good cheer.

The annual Lake Camelot ice fishing tournament saw a smaller crowd than usual (272 adults, 21 youngsters) but more fish than last year.

Several anglers weighing fish said this was their best year on the frozen waters of Lake Camelot and Lake Lancelot, which offered between 6-8 inches of good ice.

Crappie bit well on the cold, sunny day. So did bass. And while bluegill were not as abundant as usual, the winning weight of 1.93 pounds by Ty Heberer of Green Valley was certainly respectable.

“We were fishing about 12 feet deep right off the bottom and caught most of them by 9 a.m.,” Heberer said. “And I’ll tell you our secret if you don’t tell anybody. We keep our waxworms in our mouths to keep them warm.”

Not really. But fun and games is part of ice fishing—even in such a serious event as the first leg of the Triple Crown.

With that in mind, here are those skillful anglers still alive to compete for the coveted title as Triple Crown winner.

Bluegill (best 3)
1.93—Ty Heberer
1.89—Nate Eckhold
1.74—Mark Miller

1.01—Adam Fess
.99—Jimmy Golden
.97—Aaron McClanahan

2.42—Landon Dunbar

Illinois hunting and fishing

1.25—Savanna Cooling (pictured above)
1.09—Andrew Kubolt
1.04—Ben Meinders (pictured below)

Illinois hunting and fishing

2.84—Jim Hayden, Peoria
2.39—Ralph Carmichael, Peoria Heights
2.36—John Hughes, Washington (pictured below)

Illinois hunting and fishing

The last category was the most exciting, as Hayden’s fish was at first improperly recorded. During the prize presentation, Carmichael was at first announced as the winner before Hayden produced his fish for a second weighing and order was restored.

“I’ve been coming here for years. I’ve got drunk and just about beat up and now they are taking my money back,” a laughing Carmichael said. “Oh well.”

Hayden was so unfazed by the whole turn of events that he donated half his winnings back to the Lake Camelot Sportsman’s club.

“That bass was the first fish that came out of our hole this morning,” he said. “He spit the lure out and was headed back to the hole and my buddy (Rich Bowles of Peoria) raked him back out.”

Next up for Peoria-area ice anglers is Saturday’s event at Wildlife Prairie State Park. Here are details.

Wildlife Prairie Park tournament

Action continues Saturday at Wildlife Prairie State Park, beginning at 8 a.m. at the 10-acre lake located across Taylor Road from the entrance to the park.

This will be the first opportunity for ice fishing at the Park since the fishing lakes were open to the public. This particular lake, which runs behind the Parkside Pavilion, is well-stocked with Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Black Crappie, Bluegill and Redear Sunfish and is rarely open for public fishing.

Scott Carlson, tournament coordinator remarked “we are hopeful that this event will renew public awareness of the Park’s recreational features available to them every day.” Future tournaments are expected to follow in the spring and fall.

Registration is now $16 per person 16 and over and $5 for ages 15 and under.

Carlson said cash prizes will be awarded for:

largest fish overall;
largest bluegill;
largest crappie;
largest bass;
largest catfish;
largest other fish (if any others are weighed-in).

Prizes will also be awarded for:

largest two fish caught by youngsters age 15 and under;
youngest to catch a fish;
oldest to catch a fish;
largest fish caught by a woman;
farthest traveledto compete and catch a fish.

Concessions will also be available throughout the tournament.

For more details or additional information please call the park at (309) 676-0998 or click here.



Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

That’s Awesome!

Posted by HawgNSonsTV on 02/01 at 01:30 PM

Wish I could have made Camelot this year.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/02 at 09:21 AM

I do have to voice some concern w/ WPP.  I’m glad they’re hosting a tournament.  My concern is there is no mitigation on participants.  Most of the staff we’ve talked too knows much about anything.  One staff member my buddy talked to last night had all the answers however (good job kelly).  As of last night there are 137 folks signed up, makes me wonder by Saturday how crowded this 10 acre lake will be.  The gate does no open until 7:30am, so I can only imagine a big pile up of traffic on Taylor road.  Next will be a rush to the pavilion to sign in, then off to find a parking spot, hurry up and get ready, and off to ice. 
IMO they could be much more organized.  Hopefully they learn a lot from this year.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/02 at 09:26 AM

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