WOODRUFF, S.C. — South Carolina high school anglers’ opportunities to qualify for the 2016 Costa Bassmaster High School National Championship have more than doubled.
The South Carolina B.A.S.S. Nation High School Team Trail, which began last year with four tournaments, has expanded to 10 events involving 232 teams from 35 high schools for the 2015-2016 season.
“Our trail is one of the fastest growing circuits in the country because we have the opportunities to fish year-round, “said Randy Vaughn, South Carolina Nation youth director.
“We don’t have a frozen lake syndrome or days when we can’t get out on the lake. So the kids can keep their interest going year-round.”
The trail began its season with the Abbeville High School Open Sept. 19, 2015, at Clarks Hill Lake. The rest of the tournaments for the 2015 segment of the trail were the Greer Middle College Charter High School event on Lake Keowee, the Broome High School Open on Lake Hartwell, the South Florence High School event on Wateree Lake, the Crescent High School tournament on Russell Lake and Riley’s Catch tournament on Lake Wylie.
The remaining tournaments in 2016 will be the TL Hannah High School event Feb. 13 at Greenwood Lake, the Dorman High tournament March 12 at Lake Murray and the Byrnes High event April 9 on Lake Hartwell.
Points accumulated from these tournaments qualify teams for the Bassmaster High School National Championship. One slot for the national championship will be given for every 25 unique teams (two anglers who fish together for the whole season) from the South Carolina Nation trail.
South Carolina B.A.S.S. Nation High School anglers can also qualify for the national championship through the Lakelands High School Trail sanctioned by B.A.S.S. The Lakelands trail consists of five tournaments a year starting in the fall and ending in the spring of the following year. The tournaments are held on Clarks Hill, Greenwood, Hartwell, Murray and Russell lakes.
Both circuits work in conjunction with Palmetto Boat Center, a Skeeter/Nitro boats dealership that runs a high school tournament trail featuring six qualifying events and a two-day Classic. Vaughn noted South Carolina B.A.S.S. Nation High School team trail entries can join the Palmetto high school team trail at no cost to the Nation teams other than the entry fee for each event. Marty Walker of Palmetto Boat Center coordinates the tournaments in conjunction with a host high school.
“This is a very generous gesture by Palmetto Boat Center,” said Vaughn, “and we are very fortunate that we have them on board with this year’s tournament trail.”
For more information on the South Carolina B.A.S.S. Nation high school trail, call Vaughn at 864-483-5038. Call Trad Whaley at 864-378-0952 for more information on the Lakelands circuit.