Gators raising funds to travel to national fishing tourney _lowres

Photo provided by St. Amant Bass Fishing Team -- Gene Hoover, right, representing Louisiana B.A.S.S. High School Fishing, recently presents St. Amant High School Principal Mia Edwards, left, with the State Championship trophy earned by Braden Blanchard, second from left, and Cade Fortenberry May 2.

St. Amant High School students Braden Blanchard and Cade Fortenberry are preparing for the B.A.S.S. High School Nationals on July 22-25 on Kentucky Lake.

The pair won the Louisiana B.A.S.S. High School Fishing title in May.

The champs also get to fish with the Louisiana Federation Team on Ross-Barnett Lake in Jackson, Mississippi, in early June.

The duo’s state championship trophy was recently presented to school principal Mia Edwards.

“I would like to thank my school and my family for all of their support,” Blanchard said.

He thanked his sponsors for supporting his efforts to make it to the national event.

To fund the trip to the national tournament, the fishermen are selling chances to win a large cooler and metal crawfish table. They also are hosting a fishing tournament June 27 at Belle River Public Landing.

Seventy percent of the proceeds will be used to pay award money for the local tournament and 30 percent will be used to support Blanchard and Fortenberry.

For tickets to the drawing or to learn about the benefit fishing tournament, call Paula Blanchard at (225) 252-7219.

On Saturday, Galvez Hardware is sponsoring a drawing and selling jambalaya lunches to raise money for the duo.