Rhode Island sweeps Junior Bassmaster competition

MEDFORD, Mass. — Corey Horelick, 18, and Brandon Johnson, 14, made Rhode Island proud today when the pair from the Rhode Island Junior Bass Anglers swept the Junior Bassmaster competition at the 2012 Cabela’s Bassmaster Federation Nation Eastern Divisional. (Click here for results.)

Horelick let out a scream that rivaled Bassmaster Elite Series pro Michael Iaconelli’s when he found out he had won the competition among the 15- to 18-year-olds division. “Yes! This means everything,” he said.

He and partner Johnson have qualified to fish the 2012 Bassmaster Junior World Championship (JWC) by virtue of their wins here. The pair will fish in the Oct. 27 competition near Decatur, Ala., held in conjunction with the 2012 Cabela’s Bassmaster Federation Nation Championship.

Horelick, of Uncasville, Conn., caught two fish for a total of 4 pounds, 1 ounce, in the one-day tournament. “I caught big fish on a white Booyah spinnerbait first thing this morning,” Horelick said. “I also skipped a jig under docks. I went back and forth between the two all day.” Horelick’s jig combo was a 1/8-ounce custom lead-free jig with a Fishing Boyz Lures craw trailer (black with blue and purple flake).

Johnson came away with a bigger bag today, four fish for 5 pounds, 6 ounces. He caught a 1-9 in just the last 15 minutes, but he would have won the 11- to 14-year-olds division even without his big bass. Johnson fished with a 1/8-ounce green pumpkin jig.

The pair fished in the Charles River. They had practiced in both the Charles and the Mystic, but they ultimately decided the Charles would pay off. It did.

“I have been waiting to go to the Junior World Championship for four years,” said Horelick, who is also a member of an adult club, the Kent County Bass Anglers.

Most of Horelick’s and Johnson’s competitors finished the day fishless. For some, the species wasn’t right. “I was perch fishing today,” said Lucas Micael Cadieux of Vermont. “I’d have done pretty well if perch were allowed in the tournament. I had about 5 pounds.”

For others, the problem was the fish they were catching were too short. Noah Scott Winslow of Connecticut reported catching nine bass — none of which he could keep because they measured less than 12 inches.

Horelick and Johnson will join their counterparts from other divisions at next month’s championship. The last Junior Bassmaster anglers to qualify will be determined next week at the 2012 Cabela’s Bassmaster Federation Nation Mid-Atlantic Divisional on the Upper Chesapeake in Northeast, Md. Tune in to Bassmaster.com Sept. 21 for photos, stories and live video feed of the weigh-in.

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