Juniors look to make a dream come true on Sebago

CASCO, Maine — A week’s worth of practice for the Junior Bassmaster competition at the B.A.S.S. Nation Eastern Divisional has been helpful for Colin Gaudette, but the same can’t be said for his teammate, Brandon Wells.

“I just got here last night!” said Wells.

Wells isn’t worried, though. He and Gaudette, both 16, drove up from their home in Vermont in August to pre-fish Sebago Lake, and they feel pretty good about their chances.

“We’ve got some good areas picked out,” said Gaudette. On Monday, he caught an 8 1/2- to 9-pound bag that would have put him in the Top 10 — among the adults. He’s hoping the same holds true for the juniors’ only competition day, tomorrow.

Gaudette said it would be a dream for him to win this tournament. “This is my third time at the divisional. This time I have a different attitude. I’m more mature.”

Gaudette explained that in his previous divisional appearances, if a competitor was on the spot he had found, he’d let it get in his head. “Now, I don’t worry so much,” he said. “I’m going to fish this one right down to the last second.”

Wells, who is competing in his first divisional, said it would be a dream for him to win, too. “It would be pretty cool!”

Gaudette, a member of the Green Mountain State Junior Bassmasters, and Wells, a member of the Northeast Vermont Bass Association, will be competing against qualifiers from other states. The competition is divided into two age groups, 11- to 14-year-olds and 15- to 18-year-olds, based on the age the angler was at the time of beginning qualification rounds. Gaudette is fishing the older division.

The winning angler in the younger age group and the one in the older age group advances to the 2013 Bassmaster Junior World Championship (JWC), slated for Oct. 26 in Russellville, Ark. The JWC will be held in conjunction with the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. The two anglers from the Eastern Divisional will compete against the anglers in their respective age group from the other five B.A.S.S. Nation divisions. Scholarship money, a trophy and bragging rights are at stake.

Tune in tomorrow on Bassmaster.com for coverage of the Junior Bassmaster competition. The juniors will launch immediately after the adults do, and they will weigh in on the same stage with their adult counterparts, beginning at 2:15 p.m. ET at Point Sebago Resort in Casco, Maine.