Fishing & Boating News

Rockcastle County High School Wins Kentucky State High School Fishing Championship on Lake Cumberland

by: Mark Gintert, TBF Youth Director,

Rockcastle County High School duo of Caleb and Cole Ballinger brought a 5-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 16 lbs, 6 ozs, to win the 2016 TBF/FLW High School Fishing Kentucky State Championship.
Photo by Mark Gintert, TBF Youth Director
(Apr 14, 2016 - Monticello, KY)

 The Rockcastle County High School duo of Caleb and Cole Ballinger brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 16 pounds, 6 ounces, to win the 2016 TBF/FLW High School Fishing Kentucky State Championship on Lake Cumberland. The win earned the team trophies, the title of state champions and advanced the team to the High School Fishing Southeastern Conference championship, also being held on Lake Cumberland, on September 16-17.
“We caught our fish today slow rolling an Alabama Rig in around 15 feet of water,” said Caleb, a junior at Rockcastle County High. “We started out trying to fish shallow water and we caught a few fish, but they were all small.’

So, we moved out to deeper water fishing rock bluffs and ledges,” Cole, a freshman, added.

When asked what the key to their success was, both responded by saying their ability to adapt to the days conditions.

In addition to advancing on the pair also claimed a $10,000 college scholarship to Bryan College in Dayton Tennessee for their winning effort. A total of 130 teams competed in the event, which launched from Conley Bottom Marina in Monticello.

The top 13 teams on Lake Cumberland that advanced to the Southeastern Conference championship were:
  1st:       Rockcastle County High School, Mount Vernon, Ky. – Caleb Ballinger and Cole Ballinger, five bass, 16-6
  2nd:      Southwestern High School, Somerset, Ky. – Hunter Sumpter and Eli Cook, five bass, 16-3
  3rd:       South Laurel High School, London, Ky. – Kyler Petrey and Logan Martin, five bass, 15-5
  4th:       Pulaski County High School, Somerset, Ky. – James Burton and Don Curtis, five bass, 13-8
  5th:       Rockcastle County High School, Mount Vernon, Ky. – Dakota Bishop and Trevor Sweet, five bass, 13-1
  6th:       Perry County High School, Hazard, Ky.  – Matthew Roberts and Richard Cornett, five bass, 12-9
  7th:       Burgin High School, Burgin, Ky. – Jace Hammonds and Elijah Thompson, five bass, 12-8
  8th:       Corbin High School, Corbin, Ky. – Marcus Davis and Noah Metzger, five bass, 12-3
  9th:       Garrard County High School, Lancaster, Ky.  – Morgan Miracle and Logan Miracle, four bass, 12-2
  10th:     Madison Central High School, Richmond, Ky. – Will Blankenship and Brandon Huntzinger, five bass, 12-1
  11th:     East Jessamine High School, Nicholasville, Ky. – Nathan Marshall and Braxton Lamb, five bass, 11-15
  12th:     Corbin High School, Corbin, Ky.  – Jeremy Elliott and Jordan Elliott, five bass, 11-14
  13th:     South Laurel High School, London, Ky. – Lucas Powell and Austin Turner, five bass, 11-8

The 2016 Kentucky State High School Fishing Championship was a two-person (team) event for students in grades 7-12. The top 10 percent from each TBF/FLW state championship field will advance to a High School Fishing conference championship along with the top three teams from each of the seven TBF/FLW High School Fishing Opens held this season. 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 for details.

About FLW
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.