Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, grew up fishing with his dad and uncle, and even during his year in the novitiate, he enjoyed fishing with his novice director, Fr. John Van Wiel, CSV. So it should come as no surprise that in 2018, when a group of Saint Viator High School students wanted to start a bass fishing team, Br. Peter volunteered to coach them.

Br. Peter gives his anglers advice before they shove off.

“It has been an absolute blast to be the moderator of the bass fishing club,” Br. Peter says. “I enjoy the outdoors and getting to know the students through one of their passions. I just love the opportunity to be able to provide them with experiences that they can enjoy and make some memories.”

Just last week, Br. Peter and his anglers created a lasting memory, when they took second place at sectionals and qualified for the state tournament. Now they are working hard to research the topography, fishing outlook and weather conditions of the site for the state tournament, which opens May 20.

Saint Viator team members with their sectional medals

Since 2009, the two-day state tournament has taken place at Carlyle Lake in downstate Illinois. It is the largest man-made lake in the state, with more than 25,000 acres of water and 2,360 pounds of fish per acre. It is stocked every year with several varieties of fish, including one of its primary species, largemouth bass.

Br. Peter explains that for the IHSA tournaments, the team with the five heaviest fish, wins. Consequently, winning is based on the total weight of a maximum of five fish.

Br. Peter and his anglers get life jackets on.

“We’ve had great participation in the club and state tournament,” Br. Peter says. “While most schools only have a few participants, we have always had about 10 students active in the club.”

The club provides non-competitive opportunities for students to fish together at various bodies of water in the Chicagoland area, Br. Peter says, with the most dedicated anglers competing in the IHSA state tournament.

“People often joke about how my name is ‘Peter’ and I am the fishing club moderator,” Br. Peter adds. “The Apostle Peter was a fisherman, and of course Jesus called him to follow him. I guess I have been taking the Gospel very literally.”