Thompson and Lusby win Jr. State Championship

LAKE VILLAGE, Ark. — The best junior anglers in Arkansas descended on Lake Chicot and its cypress lined banks this past weekend to crown state champions for 2011. With Mother Nature wreaking havoc throughout the south the past few weeks, none of the anglers knew what to expect when practice started on Saturday. Throughout the weekend, the wind never relented and caused many to have to alter their original game plan for the tournament. As the weigh in concluded Sunday afternoon at Lake Chicot State Park, it was evident few had dialed in what the Lake Chicot Bass were wanting.

However, Ralston Lusby of Hot Springs was one junior angler that had a solid plan. During a Central Arkansas Junior Bassmasters club tournament earlier in the year, he found a spot that gave up nearly 15 pounds in the last thirty minutes of the tournament. Sunday, the same area helped Ralston win his second Arkansas B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Junior State Championship in three years. His five-fish limit weighed in at 18.61 pounds and was the only limit brought to the scales in either age group. Ralston also took Big Bass honors with a 7.73-pound fish he caught on his second cast of the morning. Second place in the 15-18 age group went to Jackson Roberts of Valley Springs with three fish weighing 6.33 pounds. Third place honors went to Jonny Shultz of Maumelle with three fish weighing 6.05 pounds.

Corey ThompsonCorey Thompson from West Monroe, La., was also able to quickly put two solid fish in the boat first thing Sunday morning and then add a third solid keeper late in the day to propel him to his first Arkansas B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship win in the 11-14 age group. Corey, who fishes with the Smackover Junior Bassmasters, weighed in three keepers for 8.80 pounds and also took Big Bass honors in the 11-14 age group with a 3.60-pound Lake Chicot largemouth. Last year’s 11-14 age group winner Trevor Brunson of Lowell, Ark., took second place honors with two fish weighing 4.62 pounds. Third place went to Cameron Nesterenko of Little Rock with two fish weighing 3.50 pounds. View full standings.

Ralston and Corey will represent Arkansas as part of the 2011 Arkansas B.A.S.S. Federation Nation state team at the B.A.S.S. Central Division Tournament in Kimberling City, Mo., in June. They will compete against junior anglers from seven other states and Mexico during this tournament and battle for a chance to compete for a World Title later this fall.

The Arkansas B.A.S.S. Federation Nation would like to thank Strike King, Deep South Rods, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Bass Pro Shops, and Bass X Jigs for their sponsorship of this year’s event.