Junior champions go froggin’

ZAVALLA, Texas—The frog pattern worked wonders for both champions of the Junior Bassmasters Central Divisional at Lake Sam Rayburn.

Remington Wagner of Yates Center, Kan., won the 11- to 14-year-olds age division of the Junior Bassmasters competition by catching two bass weighing 3 pounds, 11 ounces. Winning the 15-18 age group was Norman, Okla., teen Trevor Yates who caught a five-fish limit weighing 9-11.

Competing in his first divisional, the 14-year-old Wagner threw frogs to catch his keepers. He noted that the type of frog he threw didn’t matter as long as it was white. The Puddeljumper Club member keyed on peppergrass and slowly walked his frogs along the vegetation.

“It was pretty tough,” Wagner said. “The pattern was all messed up. We had fish in the practice days and then it rained last night. So we just could hardly catch them today. I caught those two fish within the last two hours of the tournament.”

The third time to the divisionals was a charm for Yates as the 16-year-old brought home a divisional trophy for the first time. The Stillwater Junior Bass Club member alternated between a leopard-color Spro Popping Frog and a black Stanley Lures Ribbit to catch his keepers under pads in water less than 5 feet deep.

Yates developed his frog pattern during practice, which was the first time he had ever been on Sam Rayburn. “The first fish I ever caught on Sam Rayburn was on a frog and I stuck with it,” he said. The Oklahoma youngster said he gained some experience fishing the frog last year, which gave him the confidence to stay with the lure throughout the tournament.

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.