Hunter Martin of Lutcher (La.) High School caught the big bass of
the Costa Bassmaster High School Cenral Open presented by Dick's
Sporting Goods. Martin boated an 8-pound, 11-ounce bass which earned
him and his teammate Justin Jacob a pair of Abu Garcia reels for the
effort. It was the biggest fish brought in by the nearly 400 anglers
competing in the open on Toledo Bend Reservoir, but it certainly
wasn't the only one.
Photo: All photos by Andrew Canulette
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Nolan Wright and Coltin Pool of Blanchard (Okla.) High display this
big bass backstage -- further proof that Toledo Bend was turned on
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A large contingent of bass fishing fans were out in full force at
Cypress Bend Park to view the weigh-in. A total of 181 duos from
throughout the U.S. fished in the tournament.
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Costa representatives Lawrend Bacon and Kelly Owens display some of their quality gear at a display tent set up near the weigh-in stage.
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A line of young anglers begins to form at the tanks as the
Bassmaster High School Central Open is about to begin.
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But before any Bassmaster event, there is the Star Spangled Banner.
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It's a somber moment for the crowd, but the fun is soon to being.
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Everyone pays respect to the flag.
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B.A.S.S. Nation Director Jon Stewart sings the national anthem - and
does a great job of it - wherever he goes.
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The first team to weigh in was Kolby Barry and Austin Venable of
North DeSoto High School. Barry had a bass that weighed 6-2 and it
helped the team finish 24th overall with 13-11.
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And they took the hot seat to open the tournament.
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Luke Tynes and Cade Cassels of Central (La.) High had some nice
fish, and finished 61st with an 11-8 total.
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Trevor Dunne and Brennan Anderson of the Ascension (La.) Anglers
finished in a tie for 82nd with 9-12.
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Martin and Lutcher teammate Justin Jacob bring their entire haul to
the stage. It weighed 16-14 and was good enough for 12th place, and a
spot in the Bassmaster High School National Championship in June.
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Trevor Hadden and Brennan Simoneaux of Central (La.) High finished
in a tie for 30th with 13-5.
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There are the boys from Oklahoma showing their entire bag to the
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Austin Barbier and Brennen Leger of St. Thomas More (La.) High
finished in a tie for 40th with 12-14.
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Lucas Lindsay and Logan Parks of the Auburn (Ala.) Anglers placed
13th overall with a total weighing 16-3.
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George Dehoven II and Hagen Cooley of DeRidder (La.) High placed
11th with a 17-4 limit of five bass.
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Jackson Hall and Daniel Helsley of Lovejoy (Tex) High finished
fifth overall with a limit weighing 19-3.
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And the really big bag hits the stage. There's Alex Erickson, left,
and Hunter Courvelle of Sam Houston (La.) High. The duo boated a limit
weighing 23-3, which was one ounce shy of the one-day record set at
the national championship in 2015 on Kentucky Lake.
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Eric Noyes and Mikey Reiss of Broken Arrow (Okla.) High continued
the trend of big fish with a total of 18-4 that earned them seventh
place in the Bassmaster High School Central Open.
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And here's Zach Naquin and Carter Pouciau of Assumption (La.) High
School. They finished third in the tournament with a 20-14 total.
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Following them was Cole Moore and Layken Moore of Anacoco (La.)
High who placed 8th with a limit weighing 18-2.
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Cade Fortenberry and Brennan Edmond of the Ascension (La) Anglers
were 10th overall with 17-7.
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As impressive as all those catches were, Erickson and Courvelle
stay in the hot seat.
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Fans took shelter underneath the abundant shelter at Cypress Bend
Park to stay dry as a soaking storm moved over Toledo Bend.
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Jacob Tarpley and Keigan Maturin of the Teurlings Catholic (La.)
High School team placed 14th with a 15-14 total.
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The rain caused a brief electronic glitch, and that gave touranment
director Hank Weldon a chance to talk with the boys on the hot seat.
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Fans also got a look at some nifty bass-themed sneakers worn by
Kaden Bailey of South Beauregard (La.) High. He said his mom found
them for him.
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Caleb Mayers and Dane Balfantz of Louisiana-based Ascension Anglers
finished in 15th place with 15-13.
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Jacob Bruner and Ausin Brewer of Douglass (Tex.) High School
finished ninth with 17-11.
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Connor and Dylan Nimrod boated 18-14 and finished sixth in the
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There are only a couple of teams remaining to weigh-in. Erickson
and Courvelle knew that the 2015 National Champions Alex Heintze and
Justin Watts were among that number yet to come to the scales.
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And boy, did they catch some fish. Pictured, from left, are
Heintze, Watts and captain Scott Dimaio hoist a five-bass limit that
weighed 22-3. That was the day's second best haul, but it was pound
shy of the leaders.
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Erickson and Courvelle realize they've dodged a bullet, and won the
2017 Costa Bassmaster High School Central Open. Courvelle makes a
phone call to a friend to share the good news, while Erickson looks
proudly to the crowd.
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And there they are -- Sam Houston High School's Alex Erickson and
Hunter Courvelle, the Costa Bassmaster High School Central Open
champions. They'll be going ot the Bassmaster High School Classic at
the end of March, and earned a spot in the national championship
tournament to be held in June. They also won $1,500 for the Sam
Houston High bass fishing team.
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Heintze, Watts, and Dimaio proudly display their second place
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Third place finishers Zach Naquin and Carter Pourciau with their
third place plaques. At left is team captain Marty Naquin.
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Big Bass Award winners Justin Jacob and Hunter Martin display the
reels they won for the 8-11 lunker caught Saturday.
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The top 18 teams (with ties) were assured a spot in June's Costa
Bassmaster High School National Championships. Nineteen teams from the
Central Open earned a spot. Pictured are 16th place finishers Dillon
Wilson and Christopher Capdebosq of Northlake Christian School in
Covington, La. They caught a limit that weighed 15-4.
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Next were Brett Wray and Kasey Anderson of North DeSoto High who
placed 17th with 15-3.
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There was a tie for 18th place, so both squads earned entry into
the national tournament. Here are Sulphur (La.) High School's Greyson
Benoit and Zane Gunter who had a limit of 14-5.
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Brusly (La.) High's Michael Bonadona and Trent Tullier also caught
a total of 14-5.
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This little fellow also hopes to won day compete on the Bassmaster
High School circuit. Parents and young children were in abundance at
registration, launch, and weigh-in, proving that the future of bass
fishing is as bright as ever.