LENOIR CITY, Tenn. — Lenoir City High School anglers Bailey Fain and Justin Selvidge are making their mark in high school bass fishing at the regional and national level.
The high school bass club teammates finished second in the 2015 Costa Bassmaster High School Southern Open on Lake Martin and qualified for the 2015 Costa Bassmaster High School National Championship at Kentucky Lake, where they placed 34th out of 134 teams. Their second-place finish in the Open also guaranteed them an invitation to compete in the 2016 Costa Bassmaster High School Classic, where they finished second.
Fain and Selvidge are also heavy hitters in eastern Tennessee, where they are in second place in the Next Generation High School Bass Series point standings for the 2015-2016 season.
Fain said he and Selvidge do so well together because they both fish similarly.
“We mainly fish the same style,” said Fain. “If he wants to try something, we will go try it. If I want to try something, we will go try it. We really don’t butt heads at all. We just think in the same direction.”
Selvidge agrees with his partner. “We think a lot alike and enjoy doing the same stuff,” he said. Both anglers like to flip, and Fain also favors throwing a spinnerbait and shallow cranking.
Both anglers started fishing at an early age. Fain recalls fishing for bluegill when he was 3 years old.
“As I got older, my dad introduced me to bass fishing,” said Fain, “and that is when I really grew my love for the sport.” He started fishing tournaments with his dad at the age of 9.
Selvidge’s dad introduced him to fishing when he was 4 years old. “We had a little Bass Tracker and we would go out on a lake every now and then,” Selvidge said. “We also fished a lot of ponds and stuff mainly for bluegill.” He started fishing for bass with his dad and brother when he was in fifth grade.
Their partnership began when Fain and Selvidge started fun fishing together as middle school students. When Fain was a freshman at Lenoir City High, he joined the Karns High School bass club as a freshman because his school didn’t have a team. His experience with the Karns team prompted him to start a club at Lenoir City High his sophomore year, when he invited Selvidge to be his tournament partner.
Now Fain and Selvidge fish together every chance they get — whether it’s in competition or just fun fishing after school.