Schomaker, Appleby win junior divisional

ERIE, Pa. — West Virginia’s Henry Schomaker made sure he got one last chance to win a Junior Bassmaster World Championship (JWC) by clinching another Mid-Atlantic Divisional title at Lake Erie. See results from the Mid-Atlantic Junior Bassmaster competition.

Competing in his final year in the Junior Bassmasters program, Schomaker won the 15-to- 18-year-old age group and claimed his third Mid-Atlantic Divisional title by catching a four-fish limit weighing 12 pounds, 15 ounces. Maryland’s Ryan Appleby won his first divisional in the 11-14 age group with a 14-4 limit. Both young anglers qualified for berths in the JWC to be held in conjunction with the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship in Arkansas in October. The 18-year-old Schomaker missed winning the 2011 JWC by 1 ounce and now has another chance at the title.

The 13-year–old Appleby caught all of his keepers on a Strike King Dream Shot in the KVD candy hue on a drop shot rig with a 1/2-ounce weight. The Junior Potomac River Bassmasters club member worked his rig about 22 to 25 feet deep along flats and humps. “I was letting the lure sit and let the boat do the work and every once in a while I would just twitch it,” he said. “If I thought I got a bite I would lift up the weight off the bottom and if it felt like there was a bunch of weight I would set the hook.”

Schomaker found some schools of quality fish in practice yesterday and came back to the same area today but he noticed there were about 30 boats there. So he and his partner, John Burkley, decided to fish the area in deeper water (32 to 42 feet deep). “We just kind of went around and would catch a couple then it would get cold and then we would run over big balls of bait (to catch fish again),” said Schomaker.

The New River Junior Bassmasters club member caught his fish in the morning on a drop shot rig with a Jackall Lures Crosstail Shad and in the afternoon switched to drop-shotting a Roboworm Alive Shad.