Drop shot rigs and two Elite Series pros gave two young anglers the best fishing experience of their lives in August at New York's Onondaga Lake.When Elite Series pro Jeremy Starks landed a 5-pound smallmouth bass using this light-line, deep water technique, his young fishing partner, Kyle Harrigan, 18, of Bradley Beach, N.J., was paying attention.
And when the depthfinder of Elite Series pro Yusuke Miyazaki displayed a huge school of fish beneath their boat, his young partner, Jordan McMorris, 15, of Farmington, N.M., reached for a drop shot rig, too.
The end result was the crowning of two new Junior Bassmaster World Champions — Harrigan won the 15-18 age bracket with 16 pounds, 1 ounce, and McMorris took the 11-14 age bracket title.
"Jeremy coached me on how to work the drop shot with a Gulp Minnow," said Harrigan. "The key was shaking it — not lifting and dropping it — and when I learned how to do that, I bet we caught 100 fish."
A similar experience was had by the winner of the 11-14 age bracket. Although McMorris caught bass with a variety of lures, his best success came while fishing a Yamamoto Kut-Tail worm on a drop shot rig.
Final weights were tight in both age groups. Harrigan won by a mere 4 ounces over Doug McClung of Louisiana, who finished with 15-13. Other top finishers included Robert Rahm of New Mexico and Brad Rutherford ofGeorgia, who each closed with 15-5.
McMorris (15-3) edged out Tyler Dennis (14-8) of Oklahoma in the youngest age group. Hunter Gaines of Arizona took third with 14-6.Dennis weighed in the big bass (4-4) for the 11-14 age group, while Oregon's John Newman brought in a 4-5 bass to top the older age group."We called that upper area of the lake the 'fish aquarium' because it had so many bass," laughed Halden Smith of Montana, who finished 16th in the 15-18 age group with a total weight of 12-0.
"We were getting bites on every drop."
ED — To see complete results of the JWC, visit www.bassmaster.com, then go to the Community tab and click on Youth.
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