For Braci and Brody Ault, being a sister and brother fishing team couldn’t be more perfect.
“To be able to fish with my sister, you aren’t going to find a partner that you aren’t related to that you will connect with as well as we do on the water,” Brody said. “To have my dad as a captain and all of us be a family, it is so special to have that on the water. Dad can be a little strict on us sometimes, but he wants to make us better. It is incredible to have our family out there and you can’t ask for much more than that.”
That sibling connection powered Braci and Brody to a 7th-place finish at the Abu Garcia Bassmaster High School National Championship at Lake Hartwell presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors with a three-day total of 35-2.
Braci was also the highest finisher of the 16 female anglers in the tournament.
“It is truly a blessing. You never know when a big fish is going to bite,” she said. “We caught plenty of our big bass late in the day. We have so many supporters. To be the only girl, it was really awesome. I’m very thankful for it.”
After just missing a National Championship qualification last season through the Indiana B.A.S.S. Nation, Braci and Brody have embraced their time at Lake Hartwell this year and made the most out of the bass they found on Hartwell.
“It is awesome to have this much support for high school bass fishing,” Brody said. “It means so much and I don’t think people understand how big this is. Last year we were third in Angler of the Year (in Indiana) so we missed it by one point. It was an awesome week. We didn’t have the best group of fish found throughout the week, but we capitalized on it throughout the week and started to dial it in. We just didn’t have the big bite we needed to get the win.”
While all the anglers this week were focusing on the water, Braci has been able to make friendships with several of the other lady anglers in the field via social media.
Braci is a rising senior this school year while Brody will be entering his junior year. The short term goal is to qualify for next year’s championship. After that, the future is unclear, but Braci said she will be holding a rod and reel no matter what.
“I want to fish forever, that is for sure,” Braci said. “Either going to college or just fishing tournaments with my brother and dad when we get out of high school. I just hope to fish forever.”