One-hundred six (106) youth anglers from around South Carolina descended on the Midlands for the 1st Annual S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Youth Bass Fishing Championship. The tournament was held on Lake Murray March 23rd with the weigh in at the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic at the SC State Fairgrounds in the Nutt Cattle Arena.
This year, due to a tabulation error, there were two first place high school teams with Dornan High School (12.54 pounds team weight average) and Abbeville High (8.48 pounds team weight average) taking the top prize. Mid-Carolina High School anglers Jase Knight and Jody Perry nabbed the biggest bag scholarship award with 19.58 pounds (team pounds total weight average of 7.91 pounds). Jase Knight also took the big fish award at 8.92 pounds. Chapman High School took third place in the high school division with an 8.19 pound team weight average.
Also competing in the high school division were Conway, TL Hanna, Dixie, White Knoll, Laurens District 55, Ninety Six, Camden and Waccamaw.
In the middle school division, Dixie took the top slot with 10.79 pounds team weight average. Greer Middle came in second with 9.36 pounds team weight average and Camden rounded out the top three with a team weight average of 9.07. Colin Slentz with the Wright Middle School anglers won the big fish with an impressive 10.59 pounder.
Also competing in the middle school division were Gray Court-Owens, White Knoll. Edgewood, Conway-Whittemore and Saluda.
Student anglers in both middle and high school could send up to six anglers to fish. Each two student anglers shared their boat with an adult volunteer.
Titles were awarded for the winning middle school and high school, as well as the biggest fish for an individual in the middle and high school categories. Winners were determined by the total weight combined of each of the three two man teams sent divided by the total pairs sent per school. Trophies were awarded to the first, second and third place winning middle and high schools. Biggest fish awards were given to one middle school angler and one high school angler. The top ranked high school two man team with the heaviest bag of fish for the tournament received scholarship funds.
Interested in forming a bass fishing club at your school? All you need to do is get a minimum of six students (within the 11-18 year old range) with dues paid and you can have a Youth Bass Fishing Club. You’ll also need an adult at your school to help lead the club, provide advice and help arrange at least two club tournaments, fundraisers, speakers and other learning sessions pertaining to fishing for club meetings. The Youth Bass Fishing Clubs is a product of a partnership between the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, The Bass Federation of South Carolina and B.A.S.S with help and support from parents, teachers, school districts, local bait & tackle shops, community partners and Pure Fishing.
Logo courtesy South Carolina Department of Natural Resources