CASCO, Maine — Two young anglers’ dreams came true today when they won the 2013 B.A.S.S. Nation Eastern Divisional Junior Bassmaster competition. Noah Winslow and Brian Volkernick took home trophies after the one-day tournament on Sebago Lake in Maine, and they also earned berths in the 2013 Bassmaster Junior World Championship (JWC). See Junior Results.
Winslow, 14, competed in the Eastern Divisional last year on the Charles River in Massachusetts, but he didn’t catch a keeper. Volkernick caught two, but he didn’t catch enough to win the divisional and advance further.
Today on Sebago, both anglers redeemed themselves.
“This means a lot to me,” said Winslow, a member of the Junior Bassmaster club Bass Lightning in Connecticut. “I really wanted this to happen, and I had a good feeling.”
Winslow began practice on Wednesday and said he felt pretty confident ever since. This morning, he proved his superstition right.
“I caught a keeper on my 10th cast, just 2 minutes after I started fishing,” said Winslow. Within the first hour, he had three bass. He ended up culling by the end of the day.
Winslow brought 9 pounds, 11 ounces to the weigh-in stage. He caught his fish drop shotting a Lunker City Ribster and fishing a Senko wacky-style. He used a Shimano 6-6 rod, a Daiwa spinning reel and Cabela’s 10-pound-test line.
Volkernick, 17, brought in a limit of 7 pounds, 12 ounces, most of which he caught at the very end of the tournament day.
“In the last 30 minutes, it was one after another,” said Volkernick, a member of the L/A Junior Bassmasters in Maine.
Volkernick was catching his fish on a Grizz Baits spinnerbait in bluegill color. He was fishing a small rockpile 200 feet from the bank with some wind. Volkernick used 15-pound Berkley Trilene line, a 7-0 St. Croix rod and a Bass Pro Shops Jimmy Morris Signature Series reel.
Volkernick will be fishing his second JWC. He qualified in 2008 — but he was 12 then, and he’s advanced as an angler a lot in the last five years.
“I’m more methodical and I fish a lot slower,” said Volkernick. “I’ve learned more techniques, like fishing deep, mostly on the bottom.”
Next month, Volkernick will see how much he’s gained from his increased angling knowledge. He and Winslow will be put to the test during the JWC, Oct. 26 in Russellville, Ark. The juniors will compete on a fishery near Lake Dardanelle. Their adult counterparts will be fishing Dardanelle Oct. 24-26.
The juniors will compete in their respective age groups against their peers from other divisions. Junior Bassmaster anglers qualify for the JWC by winning one of six divisionals.
Stay tuned to Bassmaster.com for updates about the JWC.