LADSON, S.C. – This past weekend it was high school bass anglers who took center stage on Kentucky’s Lake Cumberland. A popular lake for hardcore weekend bass fishing tournaments and also used by national circuits, the Cumberland River impoundment, and the Conley Bottom Resort docks, is where Chanler Brake and James Duncan from Somerset, Ky. caught five largemouth bass weighing in at 13.73-pounds to win the Shimano ‘SLX Can’t Stop Fishing’ Challenge.
Another aspect of Shimano’s ‘Varsity Program’ to introduce and educate young anglers to the sport of fishing, “we were able to bring added excitement by hosting a high school angler only tournament with a chance to win a $2,000 college scholarship for the winning team,” said Frank Hyla, youth fishing coordinator for Shimano. “For all of us with Shimano at the event, we had the special opportunity to interact with a great group of young anglers, all very respectful to their boat captains and the way they handled the bass in their livewells and during the weigh-in, and hearing ‘thank you’ and ‘we had a great time’ way more than once from the 42 teams participating.”
Along with the scholarship for the winning team of Brake and Duncan, the boys also won a ‘bucket list’ trip to fish with Shimano pro bass anglers next month at Grosse Savanne Lodge in southwest Louisiana. The top ten placing teams all won Shimano SLX baitcasting combos, while the team of Dawson Allen and Even Fields from Shelbyville, Ky. were the winners of a special ‘SLX Ultimate College Fishing Package’ which includes five combos for each, plus a Shimano Blackmoo fishing backpack loaded with PowerPro braid and Jackall bass baits.
“While the event was competitive with a good number of young anglers showcasing their fishing skills, it was extra special when Dawson Allen and Even Fields were gracious enough to give fellow anglers Autumn Belcher and William Crawford each one of the SLX combos they won. Simply a class by two exceptional teenagers,” Hyla said.
The tournament was supported by Shimano tackle dealers throughout Kentucky, noted tournament director and Shimano sales rep Drew Sadler. “We wanted to give a special thanks to Kent Lewis with the Cain Pole tackle shop in Richmond, Ky. for his assistance with our weigh-in. Kent also recruited a good number of teams from his area to compete in it,” Sadler said.