ALBEMARLE, N.C. — Two North Carolina teens qualified as the first high school members of their state team under the new format installed for next year’s B.A.S.S. Nation Southern Divisional.
During the North Carolina B.A.S.S. Nation Youth State Championship, June 15 at Lake Tillery, Chris Carnes from the Southfork Junior Bassmasters won the senior division (ages 15-18) of the tournament with a five-fish limit weighing 18.30 pounds. Dekota “Cooter” Shaw from the Randleman Outdoors Club finished second with three fish totaling 11.30 pounds, including the big bass of the tournament weighing 6.40 pounds.
The B.A.S.S. Nation divisionals will feature a new format next year with a high school state champion team of two anglers competing as part of the state team. “With the transition to the new high school format we are sending two older kids to the divisionals next year instead of an older and younger competitor,” said Bob Bauer, North Carolina B.A.S.S. Nation (NCBN) youth director.
Because Carnes and Shaw were the top two finishers in the senior division, they will be the high school representatives for the NCBN state team to compete in the Southern Divisional next year at Lake Eufaula in Alabama.
Thirty Junior Bassmaster anglers from six clubs competed in the state championship. Fishing in his first championship, Sam Fitts of the Southfork Junior Bassmasters won the 11-14 age division with four bass weighing 6.85 pounds. For the second year in a row, Luke Farley of the Southfork Junior Bassmasters took second place in the younger division with 5.54 pounds.