Skip to main content

Illinois youth tackle a new challenge

Illinois Extension wordmark

Urbana, IL – Youth from across Illinois headed into the great outdoors to participate in the statewide 4-H Hooks Us Together Virtual Fishing Bass Challenge in May.

While competition is the focus, participating youth take away much more from the experience.

“The intention of this contest is to advance the interest, or spark, of fishing passions to a higher level,” says Curt Sinclair, University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development specialist. “There are over 100,000 less fishing licenses sold now than 20 years ago and we hope these contests and our Bass Fishing curriculum will help show more youth the benefits of the sport.”   

Youth take pictures of the measurements of their catches and were able to enter catches virtually as many times as they wish. Aaron Wiseman of Union County took first place with a 23 inch fish.

youth poses with a fish
Aaron Wiseman of Union County poses with his first-place catch.

Second place went to Kayin Hampton of Jefferson County and third place ended in a three way tie between Levi Hefferman of Richland County, Hunter Stevens of Saline County, and Addy Sutton of White County.

Third-place finisher Addy Sutton of White County shared, “I enjoy fishing because it’s relaxing, but I really love the thrill of reeling in a big one!”

While the competition takes place virtually, the competition gets youth outdoors and learning about the environment through a fun activity.

The tournament takes place April to June, with competition focusing on a different species of fish each month.  In June the competition will center on Channel Catfish. Those who wish to learn more information can visit the competition website.

About Illinois 4-H: Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth development program of University of Illinois Extension and administered through the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. 4-H grows true leaders, youth who are empowered for life today and prepared for a career tomorrow. The hands-on approach in 4-H gives young people guidance, tools, and encouragement, and then puts them in the driver’s seat to make great things happen. Independent research confirms the unparalleled impact of the 4-H experience, demonstrating that young people are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs. 

About Extension:  Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. 


For Further Information, Contact:

Source:  Curt Sinclair University of Illinois Extension 4-H Youth Development Specialist,

Writer:  Carissa Nelson, Media Communications Manager, 4-H State Office,