EVELETH — Golden Bears Kyle Jarvi and Tommy Schlotec set the bar high for the Eveleth-Gilbert fishing team this season.
The E-G students and fishing teammates qualified for the State Tournament last month and wound up finishing 16th out of 102 boats competing on Alexandria’s Lake Le Homme Dieu.
Despite some difficult fishing conditions on day two, Jarvi and Schlotec reeled in a total of 23.04 pounds of bass. The pair hauled in over 13 pounds on day one, which had them in seventh place with one day to go.
“We just went to a spot and we did good there,’’ Jarvi said. That included catching three really nice fish, the largest being 3.32 pounds.
Day one “was a lot better than the second day. We just got on a school of fish and did good,’’ Schlotec said.
“We were working the shoreline and just found them, so we just sat there kind of all day.’’
Schlotec and Jarvi were able to pre-fish the lake and found their sweet spot during those three days before the tournament began. Seventh place after day one, meant they were in line for a trip to Nationals (the top eight qualify).
Unfortunately for the E-G team, the weather changed on day two to rain and heavy winds for much of the day.
Jarvi said they got into the same sweet spot early on day two, but the bite shut down when the weather changed.
“It kind of messed with us a little bit,’’ according to Schlotec, who said the other anglers were impacted too.
The pair caught nearly 10 pounds on day two, which dropped them down to 16th.
Head coach Rob Hinrichs was proud of his guys for finishing so high in the tournament. “They definitely gutted it out’’ through the rain and downpours.
While Jarvi and Schlotec said fishing in the bad weather was rough, they still had a great experience at state going up against 101 other boats.
“I thought it was really fun,’’ Jarvi said.
“I really liked it,’’ Schlotec said. “I’m excited to go next year too and hopefully make it back there.’’
Both were also glad they joined the first-year E-G fishing team.
Eleven students came out for the team, which competes in the Greater North Conference. North Woods, Grand Rapids, Duluth, Wrenshall, Hermantown, and Northwestern also field teams in the conference. E-G competed in three tournaments over the summer and the Jarvi and Schlotec duo ended up in fifth place, which qualified them for State. The two-person teams needed to finish in the top 10 to qualify for the State Tournament.