BRANSON, Mo. — Evan Cox, a senior at Windsor High School in Loveland, Colo., topped a talented field of 54 anglers from across the country at the BBZ Junior Championship World Finals on Lake Taneycomo to claim a fully loaded 2021 BassCat Margay powered by a Mercury Pro XS outboard as well as a scholarship to fishing powerhouse Bethel University.
The BBZ Junior Championship World Finals is a big fish tournament. Anglers were tasked with a simple challenge: catch the biggest fish they could find in an eight-hour day and hope it was bigger than every other fish that hit the scales. Cox’s 5-pound largemouth edged out second-place finisher Trey McKinney (4.89) from Illinois and third-place Jason Gibson (4.48) of North Carolina.
“This event showed me that anyone can win and anything can happen during a tournament,” said Cox. “Winning it also gives me more determination and keeps fueling my love for the sport.”
Cox used a Yum Yumbrella rig with three hooks to catch his winning fish. “I like using them in that lake because it imitates a big ball of bait and entices the bigger fish to bite. I was throwing on an 80-pound braid, PowerPro Maxcuatro, with a 30-pound leader on a Dobyns Rods Fury Series casting rod, which works great for umbrella rigs and big swimbaits.”
The anglers qualified for the World Finals event via the online BassCat Boats Big Bass Zone Junior Championship presented by B.A.S.S, which allowed young competitors to fish from anywhere and on their own schedule. Anglers submitted their fish catches to a virtual leaderboard for each state through the Fishing Chaos app. The angler with the heaviest five-bass limit from that state moved on to the 2021 BBZ Junior Championship World Finals.
Among the impressive field of finalists are some of the country’s best high school anglers, including Cox and 10 other students who competed in July’s Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School National Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors and seven anglers who were named to the 2021 Bassmaster High School All-State Fishing Team presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors.
Rounding out the Top 10 were Texas’ Triston Richardson (3.56); Florida’s Carson Kamien (3.17); South Carolina’s Chase Black (2.94); Pennsylvania’s Carson Forrester (2.90), member of the Bassmaster High School All-State Fishing Team; Louisiana’s Wade Roberts (2.88), a National Championship qualifier; Alabama’s Micaiah Lindquist (2.78) and Indiana’s Dylan May (2.53), a National Championship qualifier and member of the Bassmaster High School All-State Fishing Team.
In addition to the boat and motor package, Cox’s BassCat is outfitted by Power-Pole, MotorGuide and Lowrance. Other prizes up for grabs in the tournament included four trips to Lake El Salto, Mexico, provided by Anglers Inn International; electronics and trolling motors from Humminbird, Minn Kota and other supporting manufacturers; scholarships from Bethel University; gear from AFTCO; rod and reel combos from Lew’s; batteries from Lithium Pros and a host of prizes from other event sponsors.