MLF High School Fishing Camp Held In Kentucky

Tournament Reports - September 2023

Brad Gill | August 31, 2023

MLF hosted the Wiley X High School Fishing Camp at Murray State University, near the shores of Kentucky Lake and the headquarters of Major League Fishing.

The future of bass fishing begins with showing tomorrow’s potential pros and stewards of our fishing resource the ropes. For the fifth year in a row, that’s precisely what went down during the Wiley X High School Fishing Camp Presented by Tackle Warehouse at Murray State University, near the shores of Kentucky Lake and the headquarters of Major League Fishing.

Campers spent Wednesday through Friday learning from some of MLF’s finest athletes, and on Saturday hit the water for the MLF Foundation Benefit Tournament to help raise money for the foundation’s High School Fishing scholarship fund.

Held on the beautiful Murray State University campus with daily activities on the shores of Kentucky Lake, students received instruction from top professionals and industry executives to take their fishing and fishing career readiness to the next level.

The cost was $400 per student, and adults had the option to drop off their kids or stay throughout the camp and participate in special panel discussions aimed at identifying best practices to give your High School Fishing team the edge it needs to thrive.

One lucky camper was selected to fish with a Bass Pro Tour or Tackle Warehouse Invitational pro.

Some of the pros who have participated in this camp in the past have been Jacob Wall, Keith Poche, Brandon Coulter, Fletcher Shryock, Mark Rose, Terry Bolton, and Brandon Hunter.

To view a photo gallery of the camp or inquire about the next available camp, go to

Some of the pros who have participated in this camp in the past have been Jacob Wall, Keith Poche, Brandon Coulter, Fletcher Shryock, Mark Rose, Terry Bolton, and Brandon Hunter.

Hartwell To Host 2024 ABA Military Tournament

American Bass Anglers recently announced that the 2024 Annual Military Team Bass Tournament will be held May 5-10, 2024 on Lake Hartwell.   

Members of the United States Armed Forces from all over the country will make the drive to compete in the 33rd annual event. All active duty or retired Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Guard, Reserve or Coast Guard members are invited to participate. Immediate family of military members, honorably discharged veterans, Department of Defense civilians and contractors may also fish this event.

ABA anticipates that everyone will be welcomed with Southern hospitality. Lake Hartwell is known for hosting B.A.S.S. events and is a world-class fishing destination for anglers and a great vacation location.

“Neil Paul, executive director for Visit Anderson, has graciously requested that the 2024 Military Team Bass Tournament return to Lake Hartwell.  Anderson S.C. is the ideal host for this event with the warm welcome they give all Military members,” said Morris Sheehan, president of American Bass Anglers.

Registration will open on Nov. 6, 2023 at 8 a.m. central time. For more information on this tournament, call ABA at 256.232.0406 or see

South Carolina Team Wins 2023 Strike King Bassmaster High School Championship On Hartwell

With a three-day total of 33-lbs., 3-ozs., Mitchell Robinson and Cody Abbott of Byrnes High School won the 2023 Strike King Bassmaster High School Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoor. The 3-day tournament was held in late July on Lake Hartwell and hosted 480 teams.

The 17-year-old incoming seniors from S.C.’s Byrnes High School had a 12-5 bag on the last day of the tournament—the second heaviest of the tournament. They were in third place after an 11-15 limit on Day 1 but dropped to fifth on Day 2 after catching 8-15.

That set them up for a rally on Saturday. It came early with a 5 1/2-lb. largemouth they caught 10 minutes after takeoff.

“We knew this morning when we had that fish that we’d set ourselves up for a great day,” Robinson said. “You have to catch a kicker. If you don’t, you’re not gonna win. After that, it was a matter of just getting two more bites. We got the right ones.”

Robinson and Abbott live in the Spartanburg area about an hour up Interstate 85 from Green Pond Landing, where daily takeoffs and weigh-ins were held. They fish Lake Hartwell several dozen times a year, but the spot they frequented for some of the week’s best action was new to them.

“We were using crankbaits, a shallow-running (shad-colored Rapala) DT6,” Robinson said. “We’d throw it under bridges, on laydowns, rocks. You just had to burn it. The fish were pressured all week, so you had to make them want it. The big one came in about 6 feet of water, but there was a deep hole near this area that was anywhere from 20 to 50 feet. The fish were suspended. We’d throw to points and drops. We call them trains because you can see them lined on the Garmin LiveScope.”

When the teens needed another reliable bite, they went to brushpiles they plotted in practice; spots that held a steady stream of 3-lb. bass. They relied on a weightless Zoom Trick Worm (green pumpkin) to boat bass in the brush.

“The bluegill would grab it and the bass would swim up there and eat it,” Robinson said.

They said competing on the final day—and coming from behind to win— was special.

“You really can’t describe this feeling,” Abbott said. “We sat in the hot seats waiting, and I almost couldn’t see I was shaking so badly. But when we won, it was a feeling you know you might not have again. You have to cherish this with the ones you love.”

Table 1
DateTrailLake—RampContact No.
9/09ABA-AFT Division 76Jackson, Berry’s770.318.3610
9/09Berry’s Fall SeriesOconee, Sugar Creek Marina770.712.5760
9/09-10ABA Open Division 9Russell, Highway 72256.497.0967
9/16Fishers Of HopeLanier, Laurel Park706.207.6842
9/16Masonic Children’s HomeSinclair, Dennis Station770.206.0216
9/16ABA-AFT Division 74Blackshear, Gum Creek478.808.9701
9/16-17ABA-AFT Division 25Russell, Highway 72478.733.6473
9/23ABA-AFT Division 125Allatoona, Galts Ferry706.263.2137
9/23Berry’s Fall SeriesSinclair, Dennis Station770.712.5760
9/23Georgia BASS NationClarks Hill,
9/23Veterans CharityOconee, Sugar Creek Marina770.206.0216
9/28-10/1Skeeter Bass ClassicChatuge, Fairgrounds770.945.0316
9/30ABA-AFT Division 72Oconee, Sugar Creek Marina770.365.4795
9/30ABA-AFT Division 25Clarks Hill, Dorn478.733.6473
9/30ABA Couples Division 2Sinclair, Big Ed’s770.318.3610
9/30-10/1ABA Open Division 8West Point, Pyne Road Park256.230.5632
9/30-10/1BFL Super TournamentHartwell, Tugaloo State Park270.252.1000



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