Teen competes with adults

WESTERVILLE, Ohio — Eddie Levin, 19, is one of a growing number of young adults who are making the transition from the Junior Bassmaster program to the adult competitive ranks. Levin will be a part of the Ohio B.A.S.S. Federation Nation’s state team when its members jockey for a spot in the 2011 B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship.

Levin is the first former Junior Bassmaster participant to make the OBFN state team. He earned his spot because of Ohio’s two team positions reserved for co-anglers. Jody Adkins of Canton earned a spot the same way in 2009, won the top spot at the divisional, then went on to win his division at the BFN Championship and competed in the 2010 Bassmaster Classic.

“I’ll be 19 and competing for a shot at the Classic,” stated Levin, while readily admitting the possibility is still in the dream stage.

Levin is a member of the Buckeye Nation club and a former member of the S.S. Minnows junior club. He has qualified for two Ohio Junior Bassmaster Championships, and he won his first when he was 11.

Todd Thompson, one of Ohio’s best-known tournament anglers and former OBFN youth director, began receiving phone calls from Levin after the two met at Hoover Lake. Levin quizzed Thompson about baits, techniques and everything about bass fishing the youngster could put in question form. Soon, Levin not only had Thompson on the phone every night, the two were sharing time on the water.

Levin won Ohio’s Co-Angler of the Year award with high finishes in the state’s five-tournament circuit, including one win, three Top 10s and one Top 20 finish.

“I’m going to really miss the Junior Bassmaster program because it was great competition,” lamented Levin, “but I am really looking forward to the divisional tournament with the state team.”

Look for Levin at the 2011 B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Northern Divisional presented by Yamaha and Skeeter on the Mississippi River in Prairie du Chien, Wis., Aug. 8-12, and then keep an eye out. It likely won’t be the last time you see this ambitious youngster.