COLUMBIA, SC – Dalton Anderson and Dawson Lenz of McIntosh High in Peachtree City, GA conquered a 5 team field to win the inaugural High School Fishing National Championship yesterday in Columbia, South Carolina on Lake Murray. The senior duo weighed a whopping bag of 16 lbs 12 ounces to dominate the event, beating the nearest team by over 8 lbs to win a $10,000 Scholarship to a college of their choice ($5,000 each), not to mention bragging rights to be named the first ever High School Fishing National Champions. The event was held in conjunction with the FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“We drove down here by ourselves during spring break and fished 15 hours a day trying to figure something out,” cited the champs. “When we got out to our first location, we realized that things had changed and we had to start all over again. We probably burned 20 gallons of gas checking the points that we had caught good fish on during our practice; by 10:30am we had not even had a bite! Finally we stopped for a moment and just thought about what we had seen the pros do on this lake a couple of years ago when they were here and said hey, let’s try a suspended jerk bait,” said Lenz.
“I tied on a Sebile jerk bait and changed the depth at which we were fishing and we immediately started to catch some fish. In fact, we caught 5 keepers off that point in the next hour. We then left it for a while and came back to it sometime later and culled two more of our fish,” added Anderson and Lenz.
The other impressive fact about these two young stars is they made all of these decisions themselves. “My dad was our boat captain, but he is a competitive sailboat racer and he doesn’t fish,” added Lenz. “So it was up to us to figure out what it was going to take for us to win. Fortunately we made the right call just in time!”
Finishing in second place was the team of Jacob Wall and Colby Pearson from Oregon and Western Regional Champs, who also had a 5 bass limit of fish weighing 8lb 9 oz.
Third place went to Kyler Chelminiak and Nicholas Peterson, Central Regional Champs from Wisconsin who brought in 3 fish weighing 8 lbs 5 oz.
Jerry Roberts and Tanner Blanks from Virginia finished in fourth and Drew Bailey and Adam Diehl finished in fifth place to round out the national championship contender field, who advanced through their respective state and regional championships to advance on to this prestigious event.
The National Champs will be getting good use of the $5,000 scholarships and using toward their respective college educations. Dalton will continue his college education at Georgia Southern University, while Lenz will continue his academic career at University of North Alabama. Both plan to fish competitive in college.
About High School Fishing
Launched in 2011 by FLW and The Bass Federation Student Angler Federation, High School Fishing is the largest student-angler initiative in history. It offers students at more than 23,000 high schools across the United States and Canada the opportunity to compete in club, state, conference and national bass tournaments for the chance to earn college scholarships. Every team participating in a state championship is also invited to compete in the High School Fishing World Finals, the largest tournament of its kind. Visit www.highschoolfishing.org, www.Facebook.com/HSFishing, www.twitter.com/hs_fishing for additional information.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing unparalleled fishing resources and entertainment to our sponsors, fans and host communities. FLW is offering anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2012 over the course of 191 tournaments across five tournament circuits, each providing an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the “Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water,” through a variety of platforms including tournaments, outdoor expos and the world’s richest fantasy sports game – FLW Fantasy Fishing. For more information about FLW and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com and look for FLW on Twitter and Facebook.
About The Bass Federation, Inc.
The Bass Federation Inc. (TBF) is owned by those we serve and dedicated to the sport of fishing. TBF is the largest and oldest, organized grassroots fishing organization there is. TBF affiliated state federations and their member clubs conduct more than 20,000 fishing, youth and conservation events at the local level each year and have provided a foundation for the entire bass fishing industry for more than 40 years. Visit bassfederation.com for additional information.