Launching from Amelia and Lake End Park in Morgan City afforded the 82 qualifying teams to work waters north and south of U.S. 90 during Sunday’s Louisiana B.A.S.S. Nation State High School Championship tournament.
Saturday’s severe storms had little effect on the young anglers: 52 teams weighed in five-bass limits.
Another 20 teams competed in the Louisiana Bass Nation Junior Bassmaster State Championship.
Brusly High’s team of Michael Bonadona and Greg Diamond won the High School tournament with 14.43 pounds.
Clay Polk and Austin Sibley from the Livingston Parish Bassmasters were a close second at 14.19 pounds, and Vandebilt Catholic’s Michael Clement and Joshua Bergeron finished third.
Organizer Jim Breaux reported that Bonadona and Diamond already had qualified for the B.A.S.S. High School Nationals, which opened the door for the Clement-Bergeron team to get a bid to the nationals set Aug. 4-10 on Kentucky Lake near Paris, Tennessee.
Ryan Welch of Vanderbilt Catholic had the day’s big bass, a 4.76-pounder, and Vandebilt earned the team title for the year.
The state tournament is the finale for the school year. More than 300 teams competed in East and West divisions for a state berth.
Eric Stelly and Camron Jones from the Lafourche Junior Bassmasters won the Junior tournament with 11.63 pounds, topped by their tournament’s lunker, a 4.01-pounder.
Caden Sellers and Jackson Rogers, members of the Denham Springs-based Junior Southwest Bassmasters, finished second with 10.5 pounds.
These two teams earned Louisiana’s berths in the Junior Nationals set for early August on Tennessee’s Carroll County Lake.
Breaux reported the young anglers battled high-water problems and most of the fish came from Belle River, Lake Verret and the Bayou Black area.
In all the youngsters brought in 347 bass.
Lew’s, the big-time rod and reel company, is teaming with StrikeKing to offer scholarships to high school seniors graduating and heading to college.
“We’ve set up a fund that will award five deserving high school anglers a scholarship towards their freshman year of college. We are very excited to see the support and success of our brands translate into tangible support and success of youth fishing” Lew’s CEO Ken Eubanks said.
Eubanks said the two manufacturers will partner with the Future Fisherman Foundation in screening and processing all applications.