TULSA, Okla. — The last time the four Capital City area high school anglers were on a national stage, they blew away the opposition.
Saturday, on Lake Hudson south of Tulsa, they found out what the hundred-plus teams the four sent home after last year’s Bassmaster National High School Championship.
Alex Heintze and Justin Watts, who wear Livingston Parish Bassmasters emblazoned fishing shirts, came in with a 22-pound final-day stringer to win last year’s nationals. Saturday they had two bass weighing five pounds, three ounces to finish down the list among the 11 teams competing in the Carhartt Bassmaster High School Classic.
All 11 teams, three from Louisiana (the other team came from Natchitoches Central) and others from six other states, weighed on the same stage and in front of the crowd assembling for the second-day Bassmaster Classic weigh-in.
The Ascension Anglers’ duo of Cade Fortenberry and Breaden Blanchard, who pushed Heintze and Watts at nationals only to finish in the runner-up spot, failed to catch a 14-inch keeper demanded on Lake Hudson.
“We found a couple of fish in practice, but we just missed too many fish today,” Watts said after revealing he’d caught his one keeper on a crankbait.
Heintze said his came on a spinnerbait.
Blanchard and Fortenberry, who go to St. Amant High, said they found very few fish in practice, but Blanchard said one weighed eight pounds.
“We had a good time,” Blanchard said, looking at Fortenberry, who added, “I just wish we would have done better. The fish just wouldn’t bite.”
The winners, Trevor McKinney and Dailus Richardson from Benton High in Benton, Illinois, brought in the only five-bass limit weighing 18-11.