If you don’t think organized, officially-sanctioned high school bass tournaments are becoming a mainstream sport just like football or basketball, then ponder this: the state of Illinois, which has long been active in promoting the sport, just announced that some 231 school’s bass fishing teams from across the state will take part in the state’s tournament.

From this story in Springfield (IL) State Journal-Register:

A growing number of Illinois high schools are participating in an annual bass fishing tournament. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday that 231 schools will take part in the sectional competition April 20. The top three teams from each sectional will advance to the finals May 4 and 5 at Carlyle Lake.

Wow, 231 teams. There are a number of states that are dabbling in competitive high school fishing, but currently Illinois is the only state that puts on a sanctioned, statewide tournament like this. With that level of interest, though, I bet it’s only a matter of time before high school bass fishing becomes a big (and accepted) sport in many other states. Anything similar in your state?