MIFFLINBURG, Pa. — Tom Prowant, Junior Bass Busters club advisor, knew he had a special talent in his boat the first time he took out Garrett Enders.
Prowant had a tradition of taking the club’s newcomers out in his boat for a trial run during the club’s tournaments, so Enders went with him on the Susquehanna River to get a taste of competitive fishing.
“The first time I had Garrett in my boat, I had to let him use my fishing equipment,” Prowant recalls. “If he had been in the actual tournament that day, he would have whooped up on them pretty good. He caught more fish than anybody. That got him started.”
Since then, Enders qualified for the 2012 Pennsylvania B.A.S.S. Nation Junior Championship, where he finished fourth, and he went on to take second place in both the 2013 and 2014 Pennsylvania high school championships.
His biggest B.A.S.S. highlight was winning the 2014 Costa Bassmaster High School Championship with his Susquehanna Valley High School teammate Nick Osman.
“It was everything I could dream for,” said Enders on winning the national championship. “We didn’t do too well on Kentucky Lake during the first part of the championship, but we did enough to make it to Carroll County Lake for the second part,” Enders said. “When we got to Carroll County, it fished exactly like a little lake here at home.”
During his years in the Junior Bassmasters and B.A.S.S. Nation High School program, Enders has learned about the mental aspect of competitive fishing and teamwork.
“I definitely learned the mental side of fishing, like not letting things get to me,” he said. “I also learned about teamwork because, with the high school and juniors, we have always had to work as a team to get things done.”
“Garrett is a very fast learner,” Prowant said. “He is very competitive and listens and practices all the time. Even during the winter, he pitches his jigs in the snow. He’s probably the best one I’ve had go through my program yet. It has been a privilege to have him in my program and fish with him and teach him. He’s a great kid, and he does exceptionally well in school and helps with his church and community. He is just an outstanding young man.”
Enders was one of the two Bassmaster High School All-State Team winners from Pennsylvania; the other was his teammate, Osman. Enders is a National Honor Society member, 2015 Young American Award Recipient (Boy Scout award for excellence in a variety of fields including athletics, community service, religion and education), Outdoor Club vice president and former Susquehanna Valley High School Fishing Team president.
Enders, 18, has enrolled at Bethel University for the fall semester and plans on majoring in business administration.