Following a field of 186 Collegiate teams who had fished the prior two days on Pickwick Lake in the Boat US Collegiate National Championship, two premier High School anglers from Thompson High School led a 25 team field to a first place finish at McFarland Park in Florence, AL. Austin Herring and Colby Yessick started the morning with a top-water bait and then switched to a Red Eyed Shad and a Pumpkin seed shaky head worm to win the 2012 State Championship.
“We started kind of slow and got into a bunch of striped bass,” commented Herring. “We just kept pounding away and culling our way up.” Herring plans to make a return trip to the High School Fishing World Finals this summer. Their winning sack which weighed in at 15 lbs 9 Oz to outdistance Lee Mattox and Colby Sandlin of Cullman High School who had a very respectable 15lbs 4 Oz to finish second. Sam Swindle and Chase Kanute who represented Hayden High School finished third with 14lbs. 9 oz.
“We pre-fished a little bit yesterday afternoon,” added Yessick, “but after two days of heavy pressure from the College guys we only were able to catch a few fish. We were quite surprised to find them right alongside the dam in 5 or 6 feet of water.”
When asked about moving on to fish in the FLW College Conference Regional the pair both stated, “We didn’t come here to finish second, so we are pretty pleased and excited to advance!”
The TBF High School State Championship series continues on this weekend with the Indiana High School Championship held at Patoka Lake.