Connor Rushing may be participating in his final Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series National Championship presented by Academy + Outdoors tournament this weekend at Kentucky Lake, but his career is far from over.
Following the High School National Championship, the recently graduated Rushing will head to Pickwick Lake Nov. 11-13 to compete in the 2020 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship as a co-angler.
“I’m speechless honestly,” Rushing said. “I didn’t in a million years think I would be this far.”
After finishing sixth in the co-angler division of the Louisiana B.A.S.S. Nation, Rushing arrived at the B.A.S.S. Nation Regional Central Regional Final on Toledo Bend and proceeded to catch a three-day total of 21 pounds even to win the co-angler division and secure a spot in the National Championship.
Rushing said his boater the first two days of the tournament was unfamiliar with Toledo Bend and did not have a great practice, allowing Rushing to utilize his knowledge of that lake.
“My boater the first and second day was like, ‘You are from Louisiana and fished Toldeo Bend before. I’m not on anything. I’ve got a few spots but after that it is up to you,’” he said. “I just kind of took him to areas that I know produce fish year in and year out and it ended up working out.”
The third day Rushing's partner made a long run and Rushing caught a three fish limit for 7-12 to secure the victory.
“It was a really cool deal,” Rushing said. “I’ve been fishing B.A.S.S. Nation and trying to make the state team for the last two or three years. As soon as I could, I started fishing them. It has been a huge learning experience. I wouldn’t change anything. Being a co-angler has its ups and downs, but it is fun to say the least.”
Before heading to Pickwick, Rushing and Ethan Simon are worried about trying to make the Top 12 cut at the High School Championship. The duo currently sits in 24th-place after Day 1 at Kentucky Lake with 8 pounds, 6 ounces, 3-3 outside of the Top 12 cut for Championship Saturday.
“Today was a grind,” Rushing said. “We caught a decent amout of fish. It was just hard getting those keeper bites. Tomorrow we are going to change things up and make a little longer run and go to our backup spot.”