The South Carolina 2013 B.A.S.S. Federation Nation State Junior Championship was held on Lake Murray on Nov. 2nd. The clubs represented for the event were the North Augusta Fishing Team, Conway High School Tiger Anglers, Landrum High School Fishing Club, Lake Wylie Junior Bassmasters, Mid Carolina Jr. Bassmasters, Mid-Carolina Junior Anglers, and The Upstate Junior Bassmasters.
There were a total of 67 juniors who competed for the State titles in the 11-14 and 15-18 age groups.
The juniors started the morning with the playing of the national anthem and the single file blast off. With safety being a top priority for the event, a maximum mile per hour and mandatory life jackets for all juniors during the tournament was enforced. The boat captains and the junior anglers were reminded to just go out, fish hard and have fun. The morning was a cool 50 degrees, but thankfully clear weather allowed the event get started on time at safe light.
The weigh in began at 2:45 p.m. and proved to be a very tough day of fishing with no five-fish limits caught during the tournament. Fifty percent of the field; however, came to the scales with fish, which was awesome given the past few weeks of less than desirable fishing reports coming from Lake Murray. The tournament was also a huge success in that all fish were released with no mortalities recorded for the event. This in part was due to a great group of boat captains who helped with culling and preservation of the fish during the day.
After all fish were weighed-in, it was evident the newest kids to join the SC Junior Federation Nation Bassmasters, the North Augusta Fishing Team, came with the intention of taking home some trophies. They proceeded to win five of the top six spots as well as the Big Fish Award. The top winners are as follows:
* 11-14 age group
1st place-Grayson Brandt-North Augusta Fishing team-7.80 pounds
2nd place-Forest Thaxton-North Augusta Fishing team-5.65 pounds
3rd place-Matt Lykins-North Augusta Fishing team-4.04 pounds
* 15-18 age group
1st place-Shawn Hall-North Augusta Fishing team-6.37 pounds
2nd place-Simeon O’Meara-North Augusta Fishing team-5.89 pounds
3rd place-Jason Knight-Mid Carolina Jr Bassmasters-5.24 pounds
* Big fish-Grayson Brant-North Augusta Fishing team-4.28 pounds
The event was sponsored by Triton boats, Mercury Motors, Lowrance Electronics, Motor Guide trolling Motors, Solar Bat Sunglasses, True South Custom Lures, Yamaha Motors and Power Team Lures. Pure Fishing donated rods and reels for the top three anglers in each age group. Lew’s fishing donated a rod for the Big Fish winner. Costco of Spartanburg provided food and drinks for the event.
Form a bass fishing club at your school and you can also compete in tournaments around South Carolina. Clubs currently compete in intersquad invitationals, against other schools as well as fish The Bass Federation of SC Junior Championship, the TBF Student Angler Federation High School Championship, the BASS Junior Bassmasters, the BASS High School Nation State Championship and the SCDNR Youth Bass Fishing Championship.
All you need to do is get a minimum of six students (within the 11-18 year old range) with dues paid and you can have a Youth Bass Fishing Club. You'll also need an adult at your school to help lead the club, provide advice and help arrange at least two club tournaments, fundraisers, speakers and other learning sessions pertaining to fishing for club meetings. The Youth Bass Fishing Clubs is a product of a partnership between the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, The Bass Federation of South Carolina and B.A.S.S with help and support from parents, teachers, school districts, local bait & tackle shops and community partners.
Find out more about Youth Bass Fishing Clubs by contacting Aquatic Education Coordinator Lorianne Riggin at (803) 737-8483 or RigginL@dnr.sc.gov.
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