Harris County High Schoolers Win B.A.S.S. Nation On West Point
ChatterBaits and square-bill crankbaits were the winning baits for the latest high-school bass tournament.
Cal Culpepper and Parker Marshall, both 16 years old, took first place in the Georgia B.A.S.S Nation High School fishing tournament at West Point Lake on Saturday, March 12. After the win, they drove across the state and finished ninth in Sunday’s 2016 TBF/FLW High School Fishing Georgia State Championship on Clarks Hill Reservoir.
The two anglers fish for Harris County High School.
Cal, in the 10th grade, has been fishing tournaments for three years.
“My goal since I started fishing tournaments was to make it pro,” said Cal. “It was a huge relief winning first place at West Point.”
Parker, in the 11th grade, also has been tournament fishing for three years.
“If all is possible, I would like to fish in college,” said Parker. “Getting a scholarship for fishing is my main goal right now.”
Since Harris County High School has started the fishing team, Cal and Parker have attended every fishing tournament that has been held by Georgia BA.S.S Nation. Cal and Parker left the house around 5:45 on Saturday morning to be there for blast-off at 7.
“The conditions were cloudy and very windy,” said Parker.
Cal and Parker made a 20-minute run down the lake to the back of a creek. They started fishing standing timber.
“We started throwing ChatterBaits,” said Cal. “Picked up three keepers within three hours.”
Cal and Parker hit a cold streak for a few hours. At 2 p.m., they chose to change it up a little to a square-bill crankbait.
“We started fishing a rocky bank,” said Parker. “Ended up with two more fish weighing 4 pounds and 3 1/2 pounds.”
Since weigh in was at 3:30, Cal and Parker fished around a little more with no more bites. They headed back to weigh in at 3, but Cal and Parker ended up getting their boat stuck in shallow water. Ten minutes later, they finally got their boat unstuck to get back in time for the weigh in.
In this tournament, every minute an angler is late to the weigh in, the tournament directors penalize them a pound. Luckily, Cal and Parker made it to the weigh in with no time to spare.
Out of 56 other high school fishing teams, Cal and Parker took first place with five fish weighing in at 16.62 pounds. They also took big-fish bonus in this tournament with a 5.01-pounder.
“We pre-fished this area Friday,” said Cal. “We knew this spot wouldn’t lead to many bites, but we knew it would be the right fish. Luckily it was and led to us winning the tournament.”
It was Cal and Parker’s first win on the B.A.S.S. Nation trail.
Georgia B.A.S.S Nation High School is currently running about 70 teams. The next tournament is scheduled for April 9 at Lake Lanier.
Anglers compete to make to make the state championship set for May 14 at Lake Sinclair. At Sinclair, high school teams must finished in the top three in order to qualify for the national championship. That date and location of the national tournament has not yet been announced.
If youth or parents would like to have a high school team at their school, they need to discuss this with their principal.
For more information on Georgia’s B.A.S.S. Nation, contact Youth Director Rick Burns at (404) 379-4656 or go online to http://gabnhs.com/.
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