The Illini Team Trail Buddy Bass Tournaments are set to begin soon at Lake Shelbyville and Shelbyville wrestling coach Greg Harkins had one of his best seasons last year in the series. Harkins and his fishing partner Jack Montgomery came up just 2.07 points shy of the Northern Division Championship behind Derrick Gaddis and Jeremy Dhom.
In the first event of the season, Gaddis and Dhom caught their 5-fish limit, weighing in at 13.59 pounds for 7th place. Harkins and Montgomery caught their limit (13.09), weighing just half a pound shy of Gaddis and Dhom, for 12th place. Both teams catches were dwarfed by Kevin Arbaugh and Dewayne Schults, whose five fish weighed 22.19 pounds and caught the big bass (6.92).
Harkins and Montgomery bounced back big in the next event, May 20. They beat the field with a 5-limit weight of 23.31 pounds. Their biggest bass was 5.74 pounds, just shy of the biggest bass of the day. They scored 123.31 points. That upped their series total to 225.40 after two events and they led the points race. Gaddis and Dhom placed 12th with a weight of 12.44 pounds and 101.44. Their 2-event totals was 209.03.
In July, Mike McGill and Tony Alwardt won the day a 5-catch limit of 16.54 pounds. Harkins and Montgomery had another great day, taking 2nd place with five fish weighing 15.99 pounds. They had the second biggest bass of the day again (4.59). That gave them a 3-event total of 340.39, leaving them in 1st place in the points race.
Gaddis and Dhom finished in 26th place that day catching just three fish (7.58). They picked up 82.58 points for a 3-event total of 291.61, back 48.78 points.
In the fourth event of the season, Gaddis and Dhom ended up winning. Their five fish weighed 20.48 and earned them 120.48 points. Harkins and Montgomery were also on their game, taking 3rd with five fish weighing in at 14.42 for 112.42 points. They had the next biggest bass for the third event in a row (5.03). Harkins and Montgomery were still up by 40.72 points with one event to go.