High School Bass Fishing is an up and coming sport that is gaining momentum.
Local high school students have formed a cohesive squad of anglers that just last week embarked on their first tournament of the season.
The North Mississippi Youth Anglers were one of numerous teams from around the Magnolia state to participate in the SAF Mississippi State Championship Bass Tournament on Sunday at J.P. Coleman State Park.
Twenty-three two-man teams from across Mississippi, including four from the local North Mississippi Youth Anglers, launched at 7 a.m. from the marina and fished eight hours on Pickwick Lake.
The four area teams were comprised of Biggersville’s Micah Gifford and Alcorn Central’s Jasen Wiginton, Hunter Matheny and Candler Robinson of Kossuth, Tishomingo County’s Layton Monroe and Tobias Wiginton of Alcorn Central and the Corinth pairing of Hunter King and Archer Doran.
“They all represented their respective schools well,” said team advisor Sam Wiginton.
The Kossuth team of Robinson and Matheny were the highest local finishers, checking in at 12th place.
“The tournament started with a devotional and a prayer and then the national anthem,” said Wiginton. “As the boats left the marina in single file there was a light fog and a chill in the air requiring the young anglers to wear maybe an extra layer of clothing. But as the sun came up the fog lifted and the temps rose making for a really nice day.”
Wiginton further added, “The wind did start to blow rather strong about mid-day, making boat control a bit tough in unsheltered areas, but all in all God provided a beautiful day for fathers, sons and daughters to enjoy the tournament.”
First place went to Blake Duncan and Andrew Stoddard of the Upper Tombigbee Student Angler Trail with a total haul of 19.07 pounds while Zachery Lowe and Peyton Corley of MSBassmasters took second with 16.07 pounds. Hayden Campbell and Chance Williams of Itawamba AHS placed third, weighing in with a total of 15.09 pounds.
The daily big fish was reeled in by Duncan and Stoddard weighing 7.01 pounds.
“The youth anglers did a great job of keeping their fish alive and all were released after the tournament was concluded,” Wiginton concluded.
The next tournament for the local team will be Saturday, April 10 at Beaver Lake south of Bay Springs on the Waterway.