Fishing & Boating News

Grace Christian Academy wins Tennessee State High School Fishing Championship on Norris Lake

by: Mark Gintert, TBF Youth Director,

(Jun 8, 2016 - LAFOLLETTE, TN.)

 The Grace Christian Academy duo of Spencer Peters and Austin Kirby brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 13 pounds, 2 ounces, to win the 2016 TBF/FLW High School Fishing Tennessee State Championship on Norris Lake. The win earned the team trophies, the title of state champions, a $10,000 scholarship to Bryan College and advanced the team to the High School Fishing Southeastern Conference championship on Lake Cumberland in Somerset, Kentucky, on September 16-17.

The pair found their winning fish after an early morning mishap clued them into where the bass were sitting.

“My lure got hung up next to the shore at our very first stop this morning,” said Peters, a senior this year. “When I spun the boat around to go get it out Austin flipped out into the deeper water off shore and immediately caught a fish.

“We decided to back off the shore line a little and target an area that was 10 to 15 feet deep and that is where we found most of our fish,” Peters continued. “Had we not got hung up we may have passed over the entire spot.”

“Once we found the spot we used a Carolina-rigged green-pumpkin-colored soft plastic,” added Kirby, a recent graduate who will attend Carson-Newman University next fall. “Every fish we caught was a keeper, and we probably culled 7 or 8 times today. When Spencer caught a big smallmouth toward the end of the day we felt we had a pretty good chance to win.”

The tournament launched from Lonas Young Park in LaFollette.

The top six teams on Norris Lake that advanced to the Southeastern Conference championship were:
  1st:       Grace Christian Academy, Knoxville, Tenn. – Spencer Peters and Austin Kirby, five bass, 13-2
  2nd:      Lincoln County High School, Fayetteville, Tenn. – Alex Gault and Hunter Thrasher, five bass, 10-10
  3rd:       Campbell County High School, Jacksboro, Tenn. – Dillan Carroll and Jonathan Carroll, five bass, 9-15
  4th:       Clinton High School, Clinton, Tenn. – Ryan Winchester and Jake Lee, five bass, 9-4
  5th:       Polk County High School, Benton, Tenn. – Charles Woody and Tristen Lowe, five bass, 8-8
  6th:       Creek Wood High School, Charlotte, Tenn. – Daniel Cheshire and Noah Steven Mills, four bass, 8-5

The 2016 Tennessee 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.