Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, teaches religion at Saint Viator High School, but this spring he cast his net out on the lake, fishing with students on the bass fishing team. He’s been coaching the team for the last five years and whether it’s the effects of the pandemic, or the novelty of fishing, students are jumping at the chance to join.
“It has been an absolute blast to be the moderator of the bass fishing club,” Lamick says. “I enjoy the outdoors and getting to know the students through one of their passions. I just love the opportunity to be able to provide them with experiences that they can enjoy and make some memories.”
This year, 25 students turned out in the beginning of the season, with 15 regularly participating in fishing competitions. Lamick drew so many interested anglers that he and his assistant coach, Mike Schneider, established a point system and had multiple competitions this winter and spring for students to earn a spot on the eight-student roster. They even held a casting competition in the school gym as one of the activities.
Sectionals took place earlier this month and one of Lamick’s boats from Saint Viator finished as the first alternate at the Busse Woods sectional. State finals took place last weekend at downstate Carlyle Lake. It is the largest man-made lake in the state, with more than 25,000 acres of water and 2,360 pounds of fish per acre. It is stocked every year with several varieties of fish, including one of its primary species, largemouth bass.
Suburban teams that advanced include boats from: Streamwood, South Elgin, Elk Grove, St. Ignatius, Niles West, Glenbrook South, York, Immaculate Conception, Downers Grove South, Wheaton Warrenville South, Naperville North and Aurora Central Catholic high schools.
This was the second straight year that Lamick’s team from Saint Viator placed among the top four at sectionals. One of his senior co-captains, Colton Faulkner of Cary, caught the biggest fish at sectionals, among the 15 boats that participated. At these IHSA tournaments, the team with the five heaviest fish, wins. Consequently, winning is based on the total weight of a maximum of five fish.
“For me it’s all about the excitement and competitiveness of the sport,” Colton says. “I love a challenge and fishing is all about adapting new skills and techniques to figure out what the fish are biting — and where they are going to be located.”
Lamick grew up in Arlington Heights, fishing with his father and uncle on weekends. Even during his first year with the Viatorians, he enjoyed fishing with his novice director, Fr. John Van Wiel, CSV.
“Fishing competitions are not widely available to young people,” Lamick says. “The team provides students with a way to connect, form friendships, and develop their fishing knowledge and skills through the team’s activities and competitions.”