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Illinois hunting and fishing

Fishing for charity

May 02, 2010 at 06:03 AM

Illinois hunting and fishing

Charity tourneys

Several charity fishing tournaments are scheduled this spring and summer in and around central Illinois. Here are a few.

• May 10 — The ninth Central Illinois Law Enforcement bass tournament is at Banner Marsh’s East Access, 6 a.m. to noon. Sign-up starts 4:30 a.m. Cost $50, cash payouts. Proceeds benefit Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 157. Call (309) 697-7833.

• May 22 — Camp Big Sky near Farmington is pairing 20 bass anglers with 20 children with disabilities for a special event. Donations are sought to sponsor the event and toward a fund-raising raffle. Call (309) 258-6002.

• May 22 — Relay For Life Open Bass Tournament on Lake Bloomington. Contact Shawn Kobel at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

• June 6 — Snag and Brag tourney to benefit Greater Peoria Boys and Girls Club, 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Anglers can fish their own lakes in three zones. Fish fry to follow at Kelleher’s in Peoria. Cost $125 per person. Call Pat Sullivan at (309) 303-5900.

• June 27 — Seventh Air National Guard Family Support Group open buddy bass tournament at Lake Springfield, 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cost $130, $25 of which goes to ANGFSG. Call (217) 741-4255.

• Aug. 28 — Fifth Chad Morgenthaler bass tournament for Special Olympics at Rend Lake out of the Sailboat Harbor. Call 1-800-394-0562.

Add your event by e-mailing details to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).



There was no lucrative sponsorship on the line last weekend.

There wasn’t even a cash prize hanging in the balance as anglers brought bass to the scales.

But that didn’t stop Terry Setterlund of Peoria from waiting anxiously and then celebrating joyously when he learned his team won the third annual Maury Cicciarelli Memorial Fishing Tournament.

“It’s fun to win but obviously what’s more important is that it’s a good cause for (Maury),” Setterlund said.

For Setterlund and many other anglers, the mixture of competition and charity is an attractive one. Every spring and summer the fishing docket features a variety of charitable events (see accompanying story) designed to raise funds for good causes and to provide anglers a good excuse to fish.

The Cicciarelli tourney, for instance, raises money for the Alzheimer’s Association. The late Maury Cicciarelli — founder of the PIPCO Cos. — suffered from Alzheimer’s before his death in 2005.

After watching their father battle memory loss, Cicciarelli’s children wanted to find a way to help others who must cope with Alzheimer’s.

“It’s a crazy disease and it’s spreading,” said Steve Cicciarelli, who helps spearhead the fishing tournament along with brothers Scott and Greg and sisters Lori Sonnemaker and Karen Shadid. “There’s a lot of people who suffer (from Alzheimer’s) and we just wanted to help out in dad’s honor.”

In the past three years the tournament has raised nearly $75,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association. That’s an impressive chunk of change for a one-day event held at Hidden Lakes Farms in Knox County.

Many of the anglers entered in the event are involved in the construction business and work closely with PIPCO.

“It’s turned into kind of a party for me,” Steve Cicciarelli said. “I get three days off from work and I get to hunt and fish out here. I grew up in the outdoors, in creeks and catching frogs, so to me this is great.”

The event is also designed to be fun for anglers, who get to fish the well-managed waters of Hidden Lakes. Among the guests last Saturday was Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins, who shook hands, posed for pictures and proved he knows a thing or two about catching bass on a spinnerbait.
Along with the fun there’s a somewhat serious side to things.

Formats for charity events vary widely. In the Cicciarelli event prizes are awarded for various categories including biggest fish and best eight-bass weight.
Setterlund and partner Jim Ostrom of Morton won that contest with eight bass weighing 14.87 pounds. That included 4.16- and 3.95-pound bass caught by Setterlund (pictured below with one of his fish), who relied on a red-and-black Senko for all his fish.

Illinois hunting and fishing

In second were defending champs Walt Frakes of Washington and Tom Smith of Peoria with 14.7 pounds. A big chunk of that weight camne from a 6.72-pounder Smith caught on a black rubber worm.

“That’s the biggest fish I think I’ve ever caught,” Smith said.

That his lunker came while supporting a worthwhile cause only made the fish better.


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