FORT MADISON, Iowa -- The fishing was tough today on the Mississippi for the youth as they set out to compete in the Junior Bassmaster Northern Divisional. The bite wasn’t much better than yesterday, and most of the water had been picked over to the point where boats were working through spots in a line.
Nevertheless, two young anglers persevered by fishing the way they knew they should and by maintaining a positive attitude. Each won his respective age group and earned a spot at the Junior Bassmaster World Championship.
In the 15-18 age group, 16-year-old Hunter Colwell (Ohio), brought three bass to the scales that weighed a total of 6 pounds, 6 ounces to best the other competitors in his age group.
“It was tough. There’s no doubt about it. I caught my first two fish early on a tube and my last one several hours later on a Venom jig. I fished shallow at first but when we didn’t get any bites we switched to deeper wood. I did better when I went out a ways.
“I didn’t catch many short fish but I did catch a couple of giant sheepshead and one good pike. I didn’t think they’d let me weigh them in so I shook them loose at the boat,” he said with a sly teenager’s grin.
In the 11-14 age group, Adam Farner (South Dakota) managed two bass that tipped the scales at 4 pounds. Like his fellow winner from Ohio, Farner found a tough bite when he set out this morning.
“I got my first bite real early this morning and another one around the 10. After that it was slow until later in the afternoon. The bite picked up then but they were all short. I figured out that you had to pitch into an open spot at least five times before you would get a bite. That’s how slow it was,” said the young angler.
“Even if I’d known that earlier I don’t think it would have made a difference. I’d still have fished the same spots the same way. It was all I knew to do. Really, it was the right thing to do. It just didn’t work out this time.
“I’m not complaining, though. This win is really great. I can’t wait to get started on the championship.”
Both anglers look forward to continuing in the Junior Bassmaster program.
11-14 age group
|Place||Angler||Hometown||No. / Lbs-Oz|
|1||Adam Farner||Winner, SD (SD)||2 04-00|
|2||Allex Conner||Delaware, OH (OH)||2 03-05|
|3||Cason Hiers||St. Paul, MN (MN)||1 01-12|
|4||Blake Albertson||Bloomington, IN (IN)||0 00-00|
|5||Lake Anderson||Woodville, WI (WI)||0 00-00|
|6||Billy Mathews||Joliet, IL (IL)||0 00-00|
|7||Zachary Nighswonger||Hamburg, MI (MI)||0 00-00|
|8||Hunter Reifschneider||Marion, IA (IA)||0 00-00|
15-18 age group
|1||Hunter Colwell||Bellefontaine, OH (OH)||3 06-06|
|2||Austin Ruddell||Woodhaven, MI (MI)||1 02-02|
|3||Joshua Miller||Lisbon, IA (IA)||1 01-14|
|4||Matt Burns||Lemont, IL (IL)||0 00-00|
|5||Jason Hawksford||Hudson, WI (WI)||0 00-00|
|6||Nathan Molitor||St. Cloud, MN (MN)||0 00-00|
|7||Tucker Peschl||Tyndall, SD (SD)||0 00-00|
|8||Greg Zellers||Winamac, IN (IN)||0 00-00|