(Jan 19, 2016 - Lake Okeechobee, FL)
The Travelers Rest High School duo of Jacob Smith and Daniel Clark from Travelers Rest, South Carolina, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 26 pounds, 8 ounces, to win the 2016 TBF/FLW High School Fishing Florida Open on Lake Okeechobee. The win earned the team the title and qualified the team to compete in the High School Fishing Southeastern Conference championship on Lake Cumberland in Somerset, Kentucky on September 16-17.
The duo’s big limit was anchored by a huge 12-pound, 1-ounce largemouth that claimed the Lew’s Big Bass Award, along with another 10+ pound largemouth that helped to round off the impressive limit. That catch qualified the anglers for Florida’s Trophy catch program and was the biggest bag of the weekend, including the three-day Costa FLW Series tournament
Making the limit even more impressive, heavy winds and rain created a one hour delay to the start of the event and forced tournament organizers to restrict the anglers to the Kissimmee River for safety.
“With all the rain this morning we just went looking for clean water and found a drainage ditch that dumped into a canal off the main river,” said Smith, a junior at Travelers Rest High School.
“We caught all of our fish on a Livingston Crankbait in Guntersville Craw color” added Clark, also a junior at Travelers Rest.
“Our spot had a nice mix of rock and a few weed mats that all came together and it appeared that these bass had the bait fish pushed up into that short ditch,” Smith said. “We stayed in that one spot the entire day.”
The top three teams on Lake Okeechobee that advanced to the Southeastern Conference championship were:
1st: Travelers Rest High School, Travelers Rest, S.C. – Jacob Smith and Daniel Clark, five bass, 26-8
2nd: Harmony High School, Harmony, Fla. – Cole Thompson and Nick Cora, five bass, 10-8
3rd: Middleburg High School, Middleburg, Fla. – James Brooks and Garrett Carter, four bass, 9-6
Rounding out the top 10 teams were:
4th: Creek Wood High School, Charlotte, Tenn. – Daniel Cheshire and Christopher Richey, four bass, 8-9
5th: Bartow High School, Bartow, Fla. – Tyler Bazemore and Hunter Gadd, five bass, 8-6
6th: Bartow High School, Bartow, Fla. – Kaitlyn Boswell and Trenton Coleman, five bass, 7-10
7th: Fort Pierce Central High School, Fort Pierce, Fla. – Griffin White and Kyle Vericella, four bass, 7-8
8th: Bartow High School, Bartow, Fla. – Tanner Wooten and Conner Seay, two bass, 7-0
9th: Sebring High School, Sebring, Fla. – Alec Sebring and Jacob Young, two bass, 6-1
10th: Sebring High School, Sebring, Fla. – Clinton Patrick and Arik Lewis, two bass, 5-11
The 2016 TBF/FLW High School Fishing Florida State Open was a two-person (team) event for students in grades 7-12. The top three teams from each of the seven TBF/FLW High School Fishing Opens held this season, along with the top 10 percent from each TBF/FLW state championship field will advance to a High School Fishing conference championship. The top 10 percent of each conference championship field will then advance to the High School Fishing National Championship, coinciding with the TBF National Championship and an FLW Tour stop in the spring of 2017. The High School Fishing national champions will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship to the school of their choice.
In addition to the High School Fishing National Championship, all High School Fishing anglers nationwide automatically qualify for the world’s largest high school bass tournament, the 2016 High School Fishing World Finals. At the 2015 World Finals more than $20,000 in scholarships and prizes were awarded. Visit HighSchoolFishing.org for details.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.
ABOUT THE BASS FEDERATION
The Bass Federation Inc., (TBF) is a member of the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. TBF is owned by those we serve and dedicated to the sport of fishing. The Federation is the largest and oldest, organized grassroots fishing, youth and conservation organization there is. TBF, our affiliated state federations and their member clubs conduct more than 20,000 events each year and have provided a foundation for the entire bass fishing industry for more than 45 years. TBF founded the Student Angler Federation and the National High School Fishing program in 2007 to promote clean family fun and education through fishing.