Junior competition set for Clear Lake

LAKEPORT, Calif. — Anglers ages 11 to 18 will take to Clear Lake Friday, April 12, for a one-day competition - the 2013 Junior Bassmaster Western Divisional, held in conjunction with the 2013 B.A.S.S. Nation Western Divisional.

One competitor from each age group, ages 11 to 14 and 15 to 18, is sent by each state to the Western Divisional. The young anglers fish with their counterpart from their state team, and each state appoints a boat captain to drive the competitors around the lake. The captain does not assist the contenders with their fishing.

Tyler Evans of Corvallis, Mont., is representing his state in the divisional for the second year in a row. Last year, he won his age group and went on to compete in the 2012 Bassmaster Junior World Championship in Alabama.

“That was a blast,” said Evans, 14. “I want to go back and claim first place this time!”

His teammate, Austin Johnson of Noxon, Mont., wants a shot at the JWC, too, this year held in Russellville, Ark., in conjunction with the 2013 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.

Both anglers have been here at Clear Lake practicing for the Junior Bassmaster Western Divisional for a week. They both have different areas they’d like to fish, and they’re deciding which spots to go to Friday. Whichever ones they choose, they said they’ll both be happy because of their complementary fishing styles.

“Tyler likes catching bed fish,” said Johnson, 16. “I like catching the fish on the edge, the ones between the beds.”

Their boat captain, Wes Tanner of Montana, is confident these two will do a great job. “Their style of fishing is what’s biting out there right now,” he said.

All the junior competitors launch after their adult counterparts launch, tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. PT at Konocti Vista Casino Resort. They will weigh in on the same stage with the adults, beginning at 2:30 p.m. PT. The weigh-in will be streamed live on Bassmaster.com.

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