Area youth participated in University of Illinois Extension’s 4-H Bass Fishing Club during the week of June 7-11, 2021 at the ICF Torstenson Property in Pecatonica, Illinois.  The club was co-led by 4-H Youth Leadership Team member Myles Nelson and adult 4-H volunteer Tony Grotto.  Nelson is a long-time 4-H member in Winnebago County and a 2021 Hononegah graduate, where he was an active member of the Bass Fishing Club.

Participants spent two sessions in the classroom before heading out to the fishing pond.  Classroom sessions included building their own spinnerbait.  Spinnerbaits can mimic many of the traits of the food, or prey, that a bass likes to eat.  The curriculum and materials were provided by the Illinois State 4-H office.  Tony Grotto, co-leader for the club, said, “I think the kids have done a great job this week learning how to fish.  It has been fun for me teaching our youth how to fish, as it’s something I have done since I was a kid.”  He continued “I would be glad to do it again.  There is lots of stuff to learning about fishing.  My favorite part is watching a kid catch a fish and getting a big smile on their face!”

Participants described the week-long training as FUN, exciting, and amazing and each of them said they would do it again if offered the opportunity.  Nelson states, “I enjoyed teaching the kids several aspects of fishing.  I hope to see them all back next year.”   

To learn more about 4-H and other opportunities for youth this summer, visit or call the Extension office at 815-986-4357.

youth holding bass fish
Gregory Hopkins shows us his biggest bass caught of the week!


youth holding a bass fish
Connor Wishop is please with his bass!
youth hold bass
Brock Lilja caught a nice sized bass using a spinnerbait