DETROIT — CJ Hatton and Danny Sprague won the 2012 Michigan B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Junior State Championship, and the two teenagers then advanced to the divisional competition.
Hatton, 14, and Sprague, 16, were among 29 competitors fishing on Michigan’s Lake St. Clair. The one-day tournament saw 117 fish come to the scales for a total of 313 pounds of bass. Clubs that participated were the Junior Michigan Bass Anglers, Macatawa Bass Cubs, Junior Michigan Bass Gang and the Junior Michigan Bass Busters.
Hatton, a member of the Junior Michigan Bass Anglers, caught 17.71 pounds, including the biggest bass of the younger age division — a 6-pounder.
Sprague, a member of the Junior Michigan Bass Gang, caught 18.51 pounds, including a 5 1/2-pounder, the biggest bass of his age group, 15- to 18-year-olds.
The pair then competed in the junior division 2012 Cabela’s Bassmaster Federation Nation Northern Divisional in August on the Mississippi River. Their weights counted toward the adult team’s overall weight.
“Two years ago, it was the junior anglers who helped win the grand prize boat for our Michigan team,” said Paul Sacks, Michigan B.A.S.S. Federation Nation president. “I think these two could again help the adult team finish in a top spot.
“But that’s not surprising — because we all know the best bass anglers come from Michigan, like Kevin VanDam!”