Junior Bassmaster alum makes North Carolina state team

MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. — Khris Williams never lets his lack of size prevent him from becoming a big star in competitive bass fishing.

When he was 13 years old and only 3 feet, 7 inches tall, Williams joined the Ball Creek Junior Bassmasters and finished second in his first ever tournament. Williams recalled he always “fished for other fish” before his first Junior Bassmasters tournament on Lake Norman.

“I never really knew anything about bass fishing before that tournament,” he said. “I was hooked after that.” Then he won the second tournament he ever fished in and took third in his third junior event, the North Carolina Junior Bassmasters State Championship on Lake Hartwell.

After graduating from the juniors program, the 4-foot-1 Williams fished Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournaments and this year joined the Outdoor Rush club to fish the North Carolina B.A.S.S. Nation trail. Williams, now 22, had a big year on the trail finishing fourth in the North Carolina B.A.S.S. Nation Western Region state qualifier at High Rock Lake and qualifying for the first time as a nonboater for the North Carolina state team.

Williams’ boater partner during the Western Region qualifier was longtime friend Bill Frazier, conservation director for North Carolina.

“We just try to keep him on the water fishing, and the rest of it is all Khris,” Frazier said of his friend. “The kid has got skills.”

Frazier said Williams is especially adept at fishing with a shaky head.

“Khris can almost think fish on to the hook of a shaky head,” Frazier said.

Williams said skipping lures under docks is his fishing strength, adding that he thinks his short stature might give him an edge over taller anglers.

“Because I am a little bit shorter, I have an advantage when skipping a jig or a shaky head up under a dock because I am about at eye level and don’t have to bend down as much,” he said.

Williams said all he thinks about, when he’s on the water, is filling his limit.

“I just go out there and give it my all — 100 percent — every day I am fishing,” he said. “I don’t think about the money. I just think about getting five fish in the books.”

Working toward a career in fishing, Williams is a Dick’s Sporting Goods lodge associate in the hunting/fishing department and makes and sells his own lures on his website, www.khriswilliamsfishing.com. He said he hopes to secure enough sponsors to compete in Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens next and eventually qualify for the Bassmaster Elite Series.