When he is fishing around the lakes in his home state, Virginia B.A.S.S. Nation co-angler Spencer Humphrey feels confident in using finesse-style baits.
But when he arrived at Lake Hartwell for his first ever TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Southeast Regional, the Madison County High School senior wasn’t sure what to expect from the clear reservoir.
“The lakes back home fish kind of similar, but I’m used to fishing shallow and fish docks and stuff like that,” Humphrey said. “I don’t fish any shoals where I’m from and there’s a lot of that down here. Most of the places I fish, you don’t have five feet of visibility, you have about a foot. I’m used to fishing finesse, but this was a little different.”
It didn’t take Humphrey long to get the hang of Lake Hartwell however, finishing seventh overall in the co-anglers standings with a three-day total of 17-11 and was in second place with 7-3 after Day 1. During the tournament, he used a couple different finesse baits to catch his three limits; a shaky head, a wobble head jig paired with a magnum finesse worm and a drop shot.
After his Day 1 performance, Humphrey, 17, said he was filled with nervous excitement heading into the rest of the tournament.
“I was excited and nervous. I knew I was going to get a different boater every day, but I got a bunch of really good boaters,” he said. “It’s been really fun.”
Unfortunately, he fell just shy of qualifying for the 2021 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship with two of his teammates moving into the Top 5 on the final day. Regardless, Humphrey said he met a lot of great anglers throughout the week and learned a lot.
“It was a really cool experience. I learned a lot about fishing cleaner water and different ways to fish baits. It was a different type of fishing than I was used to,” Humphrey said. “I was intimidated a little bit. There’s a lot of guys I’ve never met that are really good and I didn’t know how I was going to shape up against them.”
Humphrey’s appearance in the Southeast Regional is just the latest accomplishment in his young career. Each year of high school, Humphrey reached the state finals in the Virginia Nation and qualified for Nationals in 2019 with his partner Brian Canterberry, who also qualified for this year’s Southeast Regional.
In the Virginia state championship, Humphrey finished fifth in the co-angler standings at Lake Gaston to qualify for the Southeast Regional.
While his high school career may be coming to a close in June, Humphrey will continue fishing the Nation tournament in his home state and improving his skills that way. Eventually, he hopes his hard work will pay off and he can reach the top levels of the sport.
“That’s the dream we are all going for,” he said.