NATCHITOCHES, La. — Jase White and Carsen Adcock consider the Red River their home water, so they fished with confidence here on Sunday in the Strike King Bassmaster High School Series at Red River presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors.
The teenagers, who attend Haughton High School and are part of the Bossier Parish (La.) team, caught a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces to clinch the title in northwest Louisiana.
White, 18, and Adcock, 16, fished in Pool 5, about 2 1/2 hours one-way from Grand ECORE Recreational Area where the day began and ended. The long run left them with a shorter window to fish, but they made the most of what time they had.
“We didn’t get to our starting spot until about 9:30 or 10 o’clock this morning,” White said. “But as soon as we got there, some clouds and a little wind blew through. I threw my buzzbait out there and a 3 1/4-pounder blew up on it.”
When White says “my buzzbait,” he actually means one he designed. He began making the lures about 18 months ago and the young entrepreneur began selling them in January as Jase’s Custom Baits.
“It’s got a black back with a white or silver belly, like a shad,” White said. “I had a Strike King Rage Swimmer (shad color) as a trailer.”
Three of their keeper bites came on a 3/8-ounce War Eagle Double Willow spinnerbait (spot remover) and another came on a Lucky Craft 2.5 squarebill (black/yellow).
Once in Pool 5, the duo fished a slough off the main river. Their best bass came in about 3 feet of water where vegetation was thick.
Adcock said making such a long run was a gamble, but their knowledge of the river helped them pick a pattern that proved a winner.
“It means a lot to us to get this win,” Adcock said. “Jase and I go out on the weekends. We put a lot of effort into this. We’ve had a couple of close finishes this year, with a second and some other Top 10s. So, to win one here is a great feeling.”
White and Adcock split a $1,076 first-place cash prize. A total of 97 teams from eight states competed, with the Top 12 teams getting part of a $3,711 cash purse.
Rounding out the Top 5 teams were, second, Dylan Sorrells and Cullum Brown, of Highland Park (Tex.) High School, 13-8; third, Max Hondorp and Tyler Hondorp, of Florida Panhandle Youth Anglers, 10-8; fourth, William Guidry and Tanner Meyer, of Rayne (La.) Bass Club, 10-1; and fifth, Carson Winn and Jake Krauth, of Franklin (Tenn.) High School, 9-7.
Sorrells and Brown had the Big Bass of the tournament — a 3-13 that helped them to second place overall. Sorrels landed the lunker on a Zoom Speed Craw (junebug).
“Our best spot was about two minutes from the ramp on some laydowns,” Sorrels said. “We slowed down and were flipping an area that was getting pressure from all the boats moving through. After a couple of hours, the fish started biting.”
The tournament caps an exciting week for White, who was named to the 2023 Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors on Friday.
The Top 25 teams in the tournament qualified for the Strike King Bassmaster High School National Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors when it’s held July 27-29 on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina.
Sunday’s event was hosted by the Red River Waterway Commission.