Photo courtesy of Lyons Township High School
Lyons graduates Jacob Muth and William Hadraba placed will compete in the 2021 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School National Championship, to be held in July 29-31on Lake Chickamauga in Tennessee.
Lyons grads aim to reel in a national championship
By Steve Metsch
Two recent graduates of Lyons Township High School are hoping their fishing expertise reels in a national championship
Jacob Muth, of Western Springs, and William Hadraba, of Willow Springs, placed second in the Illinois Bass Nation state championship on the Des Plaines and Kankakee rivers June 5 and 6.
Their two-day tally of 21.8 pounds earned them a chance to be best in the nation.
Hosted by FishDayton.com, the 2021 Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School National Championship will be held on Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, TN, on July 29-31.
“I’ve been fishing pretty much since I could walk,” Muth said. “But this is all pretty new to me. I hadn’t touched a bass fishing boat until about a year ago.”
The chemistry of fishing with Muth is what works, Hadraba said:
“We complement each other. Each is doing something different, trying to figure it out.”
Fishing is a high school sport in Illinois, and bass fishing competitions “have grown like crazy” in recent years, Muth said.
“The numbers have gone from averaging 20 (boats) in a tournament to a state final that had 50,” he said.
The fishermen, with Hadraba’s father Bradley driving the boat, were on the Des Plaines and Kankakee rivers two straight days.
“About 20 miles was in play,” Muth said. “It’s a lot of water. The vast majority of water in a river, there’s no fish. …There’s probably four spots in the entire 20-mile stretch that you can win a tournament off of.”
The two have been fishing together for about a year with a bass fishing club based in Minooka, Muth said, and are familiar with the waters.
Familiarity aside, those who don’t fish may not understand how much hard work goes into it, he said.
“And you’re not guaranteed anything,” Muth said.
“You have to find the right bait, you have to be fishing in the right place at the right time with the right presentation,” Muth said. “There’s a lot of stuff in play. When you put it all together, which we did at the state tournament, it’s super rewarding.”
Besides catching fish, Muth also enjoys learning something new about fishing each time he’s out on the water.
“The time of day, season, air pressure, water clarity, everything has massive impact,” he said. “There’s so much at play and you’re up against 32 other boats.”
Fishing attracts Muth because he finds that her learns something each time he is on the water. The same goes for Hadraba.
Hadraba said he and Muth had a plan in mind and knew where to go to find fish.
The first three spots they knew were good were occupied by other fishermen. Fortunately, they had great success at the fourth spot they visited, Hadraba said.
“We caught five or six off that one bank. We had 12 something (pounds) that (first) day,” Hadraba said.
On the second day, with time running out in the contest, they managed to find another hot spot.
“We had a little over an hour,” Hadraba said. “I hit the exact same spot where Jacob caught his first fish (of the weekend). For some reason, I knew a fish would be there. Twitch, twitch. He comes out of the water. ‘Oh, yeah, here we go’.”
Hadraba reeled the fish in just 30 minutes before the deadline.
He’s already busy researching Lake Chickamauga. He and Muth may try to fish there before July 1, which is allowed in the rules. After that, they can’t fish in the lake until July 27, two days before nationals begin.
More than 200 teams will be competing, Hadraba said.
Like Muth, Hadraba has been fishing since he was a young boy. It’s something he expects to do for many years.
“it’s the challenge,” he said. “It’s the puzzle that you’re never going to figure out. And, it’s the satisfaction (of catching fish).”
Hadraba will attend Baylor University this fall to where he’ll be on the fishing team. Muth is enrolled at Southern Methodist, also in Texas, and hopes to be on the fishing team.
Muth credited Bradley Hadraba, an accomplished bass fisherman himself, with driving the boat while dispensing words of wisdom while braving all kinds of weather.
“He keeps me in check,” Hadraba said of his dad. “If I’m married to a bait, he’ll say ‘What are you doing? You haven’t caught anything with that.’ “
Hadraba and Muth thanked their sponsors – Eco Pro Tungsten, Shimano, G Loomis, Bass Pro Shops, Tackle Warehouse, Berkley and Megabass – for continued support.
Youth Softball: Lyons-McCook 14U takes 5th in state
By Steve Metsch Correspondent David Sandoval and his players won’t soon forget the summer of 2021. Sandoval manages the 14-U girls softball team in the Lyons-McCook Little League, a team…
High School Football: O’Connor is back in the saddle at Chicago Christian
By Steve Metsch Correspondent The new head football coach at Chicago Christian is a familiar face to Knights fans. Tom O’Connor served the past five seasons as special teams coordinator…
Services set for Nathanial Phillips, Rieves brothers
Visitation for Nathanial Phillips, 17, will be from 3-6 p.m. Saturday at Damar-Kaminski Funeral Home in Justice, and for Omarion and Jemerrio Rieves from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 4,…
Ridgefest returns after a one-year absence for pandemic
By Bob Bong Chicago Ridge is bringing back its popular Ridgefest for three days starting Friday at 5 p.m. at Freedom Park, 6200 Birmingham St. “This was the fastest we…
Hernandez, Zalewski host free community shred day Saturday
State Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez will be hosting a free community shredding event this Saturday, July 24, with state Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-Riverside). “Theft of personal data has steadily increased…
Visitation Friday for Destini Giera, teen killed in Hickory Hills car crash
Visitation for Destini Giera, 16, one of the four Justice teenagers killed last weekend in a car crash in Hickory Hills will be held Friday from 3-8 p.m. at Lawn…
Historical marker to be placed at site of Emmett Till childhood home in Summit
By Carol McGowan The Summit Community Task Force, Till Family, Emmett Till’s classmates, local/state officials, and visitors will celebrate the 80th birthday of Emmett Till on Sunday, July 25. They…
Another pro soccer team in Chicago is in the House
By Jeff Vorva Peter Wilt is at it again. The man who was a huge influence in bringing the Chicago Fire and Chicago Red Stars to the area and helped…
4 teens killed in Hickory Hills crash were Argo students
Driver charged with reckless homicide By Bob Bong and Carol McGowan Four teenagers from Justice were killed Saturday in what Hickory Hills Police believe was an attempt to go airborne…
Pritzker ‘looking at all possible mitigations;’ masks mandated at driver facilities
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Masks will be required at driver’s license facilities in Illinois starting Monday, Secretary of State Jesse White announced Wednesday, and Gov.…
Education services extended for special needs students
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Students with special needs will be able to finish their last year of high school regardless of when their birthday falls…
UPDATED: IDPH ‘fully aligns’ with new stricter CDC mask guidance
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The state will have new COVID-19 guidance on face coverings after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its…
Pritzker signs law repealing criminal penalties for HIV transmission
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill into law Tuesday that repeals criminal penalties for people who transmit HIV to others. House…
Pritzker to review state masking guidance amid CDC reversal
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker will reexamine the state’s guidance on face coverings after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated…
Bills expanding access to mental health care are among several signed into law
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents will soon have greater access to mental health services under measures Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law Friday. Starting…
CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker launches second-term campaign with media tour
By Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker isn’t considering using federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to pay down a multi-billion-dollar Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit, he told…
WITH PODCAST: Pritzker talks plans for Unemployment Trust Fund, pandemic response
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker isn’t considering using federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to pay down a multi-billion-dollar Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund…
Democratic leaders seek to dismiss redistricting lawsuits
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Lawyers for Illinois’ Democratic legislative leaders last week filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit from Republicans and a Mexican American…