(Apr 18, 2016 - Rogers, AR)
Georgia’s Evans High School duo of Tyler Matthews and Blake Stephenson brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 15 pounds, 6 ounces to win the 2016 TBF/FLW High School Fishing National Championship on Table Rock Lake. The win earned the team trophies, the title of national champions and a $10,000 scholarship to their college of choice.
Twelve teams competed in the two-day event, which launched from Kimberling City in Missouri. The Evans High School duo’s two-day total of nine bass totaling 27-1 gave them a narrow 1-pound, 11-ounce edge over Arkansas’ Chase Meyers of Cabot, and Cole Swede of Little Rock, who represent the Anvil Jaw Bass Club.
Matthews and Stephenson reported catching their entire limit both days using shaky heads rigged with green pumpkin craw imitators.
“I used a Buckeye Lures Sled rigged with a Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw the entire tournament,” Matthews said. “Nothing else I threw would catch the bigger fish.”
Stephenson utilized the same Speed Craw in green pumpkin but opted for a different jighead.
“When I fish a shaky head, the only one I use is a Green Fish Tackle Creeper Head,” he said.
Matthews competed in his final event as a high school angler. He qualified last year for this event prior to graduating in June from Clarks High School in Evans, Ga. Matthews is making plans to attend college in the fall of 2016 but has yet to decide on a school. When not working, he spends his free time pursuing his passion for fishing.
Stephenson will complete eighth grade this year in Evans. When he finds free time from his studies, he enjoys being outdoors and fishing.
The top five teams on Table Rock Lake finished:
1st: Evans High School, Evans, Ga. – Tyler Matthews and Blake Stephenson, nine bass, 27-1, $10,000 Scholarship
2nd: Arkansas Anvil Jaw Bass Club – Chase Myers, Cabot, Ark., and Cole Swede, Little Rock, Ark., 10 bass, 25-6
3rd: Alabama Student Angler Federation. – Zeke Gossett, Pell City HS, and Ryan Shields, Hazelgreen HS, nine bass, 19-14
4th: Colerain High School, Cincinnati, Ohio – Daniel Hechler and Cole Wessner, eight bass, 19-7
5th: Abbeville High School, Abbeville, S.C. – Daelyn Whaley and Carter McNeil, five bass, 13-14
The 2016 TBF/FLW High School Fishing National Championship was a two-person (team) event for students in grades 7-12. The top 10 percent from each TBF/FLW state championship field advanced to a High School Fishing conference championship tournament along with the top three teams from each of the seven TBF/FLW High School Fishing Opens held last season. The top 10 percent of each conference championship field then advanced to the High School Fishing National Championship, coinciding with the TBF National Championship on Table Rock Lake and the Walmart FLW Tour at Beaver Lake. The High School Fishing national champions 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.