Harris and Golden grab Junior win at Lake Douglas

JEFFERSON, Tenn. — Jonathan Harris called his shot and nabbed a late-day kicker that led him and his West Greene Middle School partner Maci Golden to victory with a five-bass limit of 10 pounds, 12 ounces at the Bassmaster Junior Series event at Douglas Lake.

“It means a lot to me,” Harris said of his team’s win. “My cousin, Nick Hatfield, is a pro fisherman and I hope to follow in his footsteps.”

Fishing Douglas’ lower end, Harris and Golden targeted areas with muddier water meeting transitional banks of slate and pea gravel. The winners had approximately 20 spots, each comprising stretches of about 200 yards.

“I think the fish are going up to spawn,” Harris said. “I figured they would be sitting there getting ready to move onto the beds.

“We caught all of our fish on 1/2-ounce Strike King Red Eyed Shad (lipless baits). We threw gizzard shad, natural shad, and sexy shad (colors).”

Noting that she and her partner fished in about 7 to 14 feet, Golden said a slow steady retrieve proved most effective. In her view, that gave the fish a better chance of tracking and catching the bait in the stained water.

Harris said it took him and Golden all day to secure their winning weight, but ending with a bang made it worth the wait.

“We had our limit at 8:30 and we made our last cull in the last 15 minutes of our day with a 3-pounder,” Harris said. “I told my partner, ‘This is the cast.’ I threw up there and he locked it up pretty good.”

Amplifying the importance of that key catch was this stat: Harris and Golden edged Bentley Wright and Staten Whitecotton of the Buckhorn Bass Fishing Team by 7 ounces.

Expressing her mix of elation and optimism for her team’s win, Golden said, “It feels amazing. I feel like, for a girl to win, that’s something different. Hopefully, this will motivate other (female anglers) to get involved in bass fishing.”

Wright and Whitecotton placed second with 10-5.

Grayson Sanford and Knox White of the Mt. Juliet Fishing Team finished third with 9-3.