Chapman, Eckert top juniors

OACOMA, S.D.— While most of the young anglers blanked, Minnesota’s Roman Chapman and Ohio’s Daryk Eckert managed to catch just enough fish to win their age groups in the Junior Bassmasters Northern Divisional at Francis Case Lake. Final Standings

Chapman won the 11- to 14-year-old age group by catching two keepers weighing 2 pounds, 8 ounces, while Eckert topped the 15-18 age division by catching only one keeper weighing 1-13.

In the first 20 minutes of his day, Chapman caught his two keepers on back-to-back casts with a green pumpkin plastic tube bait along a bluff. “I got lucky in the wind, which was there for about two minutes,” Chapman said. “Then it was dead calm and not many fish were caught in the dead calm.” The Bassinators club member stuck with the plastic tube the rest of the day and hooked about a 3-pounder but lost it.

Eckert arrived at the lake on Thursday and was unable to practice for the tournament. So he relied on his Ohio teammate Alex Datz who told him he was catching fish on a swim jig. The Perry County Junior Renegades club member wasn’t expecting to fish a swim jig so he had to throw the lure on a crankbait rod.

“I actually caught an 11 1/2 (incher) in my first two hours and that kind of got my hopes up,” Eckert said. “We ended up going to another spot (where he caught his keeper) and right after I caught that one on a swim jig I had another one come right up by the boat schooling. I threw out there and it ate it right away but as soon as it ate the jig it threw it right back out. I had a couple more get off but that was it.”

Both young anglers qualified for berths in the Junior Bassmasters World Championship (JWC) to be held in conjunction with the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship in Arkansas in October. Final Standings

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