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We’ve covered the growth of competitive high school bass fishing in this blog already, but here’s a new and not-so-surprising twist. PETA wants to ban the sport.

From this story on SouthtownStar.com:
Last year’s addition of bass fishing to the Illinois High School Association’s championship calendar was a big hit. The first run found 199 schools competing in sectionals. Babe Winkleman, Mr. TV Fishing himself, showed up for the championship at Carlyle Lake and gave it deserved national publicity. Downstate Frankfort hooked the title. This year, 216 schools put a line in the water in sectionals. Friday, the top 57 teams, from 53 schools, including Lemont and Sandburg, will be on Carlyle Lake. Who can’t like that? People running an animal rights group, that’s who. “We just think it’s a blood sport,” a spokesperson for PETA said Monday.

…On April 5, PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman wrote the IHSA, asking for the elimination of bass fishing as a high school sport. “The schools would never encourage students to maim cats or dogs, so why would they encourage them to maim fish?” Reiman wrote. PETA may have dropped a metaphorical hook in the proverbial water, but the IHSA didn’t bite. “We haven’t heard anything yet,” the PETA spokesperson said. They likely will not. Dave Gannaway is the IHSA administrator in charge of bass fishing. He was out of the office Monday and didn’t return a call, but he’s had no comment on PETA’s request when other newspapers have pressed him for one.

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