SALISBURY, Md. --A slow second day dropped Virginia's Cavin Young into 7th place during the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation's Mid-Atlantic Divisional. But the angler from Prince George came charging back on Day Three to win the individual title and a berth in the National Championship later this year.
"I caught my best fish on topwater in the morning when the tide was high," he said. "Then I banged on wood with a spinnerbait when the tide got low."
Young's 12-4 limit gave him a 27-3 total, more than 2 pounds better than Delaware's Brian LaClair who took second with 24-10.
Delaware, meanwhile, made good use of its home advantage on the Nanticoke River to take the team title with 203-1. It led after Day One and never looked back.
Experience fishing tidal rivers was especially beneficial in the victory, as brisk winds magnified tide levels, first blowing it in and then out. "Our top five places to fish tournaments are all tidal," said Delaware President Don Denault.
Virginia claimed second with 176-9, with West Virginia third, Zimbabwe fourth, Pennsylvania fifth, New Jersey sixth, and Maryland seventh.
Johnny Duarte was a bright spot for the Maryland team, as the 15-year-old angler brought in a 7-10 limit to win the upper age group in the Junior competition and advance to the Junior World Championship. His best fish, 2-7, was good enough to take big-fish honors and a spinning combo from Gander Mountain.
"Johnny had all of his notes laminated, clipped, and in order and he executed admirably," said Maryland's Trageser, who drove the boat for the Maryland Juniors.
Last year, the youngster from Baltimore won the world title in the 11-14 age group. "It feels great to win here," he said. "I can't wait to go back and try to win (the world championship) again.
In the younger age group, Henry Schomaker from West Virginia claimed a trip to this year's championship. He managed just one keeper, but it was enough. "I wish that I could have won with more," he said. "I lost a big one on a spinnerbait."
Mike Moore won the West Virginia berth at the National Championship, bolstered by a pair of 5-pound bass that he brought in on Day Two. The largest, 5-13, took big fish honors and a $200 casting combo from Gander Mountain.
Besides Moore and Young, state winners included LaClair, Delaware; Ed Riley, Maryland; Dan Gray, Pennsylvania; Jeff Stetler, New Jersey; and Darren Thornton, Zimbabwe. Because of scheduling, Thornton will fish in the 2011 championship, while teammate Mike MacDonald will compete this year.