Inaugural GHSA Bass Fishing State Championship Won By Evans High Team

John Trussell | June 18, 2021

Evans County High School students Davis Madden and Jayden Faulkner won the first Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Bass Fishing State Championship, presented by Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance. The championship tournament was held May 8 at Lake Lanier.

Davis Madden and Jayden Faulkner won the first Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Bass Fishing State Championship on Lanier.

Faulkner and Madden had a five-bass limit that weighed 20-lbs., 3-ozs. to collect the win. There were 68 boats that made the finals from four qualifying tournaments held in January, February, March and April.

Fishing Coach William Hopkins from Evans High School said both boys are “super good, hard-working kids that work together on a lawn-care service and put a lot of effort into being good bass fishermen.”

Coach Hopkins said the boys made a long boat run from the ramp to near the dam to catch their hefty bag of bass.

According to Davis, he and Jayden found a lot of spotted bass in a shallow feeding pattern on a point next to a small feeder creek. They fished an Ima Little Stik surface plug pretty much all day to catch their bass.

They caught their five bass and then culled a bit to come up with the winning total of five bass just over 20 pounds. This was the biggest bag of fish ever caught by these two anglers.  Their previous best bag was around 14 pounds.

According to Coach Hopkins, most of the teams caught their fish using two methods. Many were caught on topwater baits, either a stick bait, buzzbait or frog fished around grass or shallow bars or points in less than 5 feet of water. The other group of anglers caught their fish out deeper in the 15- to 25-foot range on jigs, Ned rigs, drop shots, shaky heads or Carolina rigs on humps or long points with brushpiles around them. Most of the fish weighed in were spotted bass, with only a few largemouth making an appearance at the weigh-in.

Coach Hopkins gives a special tip of the hat to all the parents out there who got up early and drove in the kids—in automobiles and boats—all over the state to fish in these tournaments. It takes a lot of volunteers to put together a youth bass fishing tournament trail.

Rounding out the Top-10 were:

  1. Tanner Hadden and Tyler Starkey, Greenbrier, 18-02
  2. Chase Mason and Jonathon Garbacz, West Forsyth, 17-03
  3. Jeremy Zyck and Jack Thurmond, South Forsyth, 16-14 pounds.
  4. Mara Anderson and Presley Tillman, Appling County, 15-12 pounds.
  5. Brock Lewis and Gage Sellars, Bainbridge, 15-11
  6. Jacob Hodge and Henry Garrett,  Greenbrier, 15-02
  7. Bowynn Brown and Shane Dill, Bainbridge, 14-15
  8. Jordan Brewer and Matson Grose,  Fellowship Christian, 14-13
  9. Jacob Brightwell and Hunter Horne, Colquitt County, 14-09

Kids, check out the bass fishing club at your school, or if you don’t have a bass fishing club, start one! For a complete set of rules on GHSA competitive high school bass fishing, go to

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