(Jul 24, 2015 - HUNTINGDON, TN.)
Friday, teams from Georgia and New York earned a second chance to compete in the finale of the Costa Bassmaster High School National Championship presented by TNT Fireworks.
Michael Arndt and Ryan Hujar of Syracuse, N.Y., and Cody Stahl and Tate VanEdmond of Williamson, Ga., will join the Top 10 teams on Kentucky Lake Saturday to determine high school bass fishing’s top anglers.
The teams qualified after taking the Top 2 spots in a competition held Friday on Carroll County Thousand Acre Recreational Lake. The 11th through 50th place teams were eligible to compete. By the rules, only the best two bass caught by each team counted toward the qualifying weight.
New York’s B.A.S.S. high school state champions Arndt and Hujar caught a largemouth weighing 7 pounds, 10 ounces. Stahl and VanEdmond, representing Crosspointe Christian Academy in Williamson, caught a bass weighing 7 pounds, 1 ounce to qualify for the finals.
Both teams caught their bass on jigs fished along dropoffs on the lake.
“We’ve beat up all our spots on Kentucky Lake, so we plan to change our strategy,” Stahl said. “Hopefully, with only 12 boats in the tournament, we can catch up.”
“We have one area, so it was good for us to give it a rest,” said Fred Blom, coach of the New York team.
The second chance contest coincided with Day 1 of the B.A.S.S. Youth Nation Junior Championship, also held on Carroll County Thousand Acre Recreational Lake. Leading the tournament with 12-12 are Austin Brewer and Jacob Bruener of Douglas High School in Nacogdoches, Texas.
The highlight of the day was the largemouth weighing 11 pounds, 14 ounces, caught by Bruener. The fish stands to break the current lake record weighing 9-2.
“It was amazing, and every other boat on the lake probably heard us when it came aboard,” said Bruener, 14, a sophomore. His previous personal best bass weighed 8 pounds.
Bruener caught the fish on a shaky head jig. He was fishing the lure on the bottom of an underwater ridge tapering from 12 to 14 feet deep.
Teams are competing for $75,000 in scholarships and prizes. Schools participating in the B.A.S.S. Nation High School Nation program were eligible to qualify two-angler teams to the championship. Teams also qualified through B.A.S.S. regional events and sanctioned affiliate tournament trails.
The main campus of Bethel University hosts the final championship weigh-in on Saturday beginning 1:45 p.m. CT.
Official hosts are Paris-Henry County, Carroll County, Northwest Tennessee Tourism and Bethel University.
2015 Bassmaster High School Title Sponsor: Costa
2015 Bassmaster High School Presenting Sponsor: TNT Fireworks
2015 Bassmaster High School Premier Sponsors: Toyota, ABU Garcia, Berkley, Carhartt, GoPro, Huk Performance Fishing, Triton Boats, Yamaha
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines , Bassmaster website, television show , social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.