Keller & Nocilla win Louisiana High School State Championship
Hunter Keller and Nick Nocilla from Barbe High School put together a very consistent 5 bass limit of 11 pounds and 7 ounces to win the 2015 Louisiana State Championship on Sunday at Sibley Lake in Natchitoches, La. “We are just thrilled to have won this event.” stated Nocilla.
“We came down here for the first time on Friday evening and got a little time on the water on Saturday but other than that we had never been on this lake before” stated Keller who is a senior at Barbe high School. “We caught most of our fish ripping squared billed crank baits through the grass and mixed in a few on a senko.” added Nocilla who is a junior.
Watermelon red seemed to be the color of the day for the duo who led a field of 58 anglers who registered for the event that was originally scheduled for the Red River but had to be moved due to high water conditions. When asked what the key to their success was both anglers quickly answered that their boat captain helped keep them positive when they missed a couple of fish early in the day.
Coming in a close second with 11lbs 2oz was the team of Wesley Holt and Colby Miller from Oak Hill High School. They squeaked in just ahead of third place finishers Nicholas Wiggins and Lane Possoit who had 11lb 1oz from the host school Natchitoches Central High School who also hosted the weigh-in after the change of venues.
Rounding out the five teams who qualified for the Southern Conference Regional event which will be held in Pine Bluff Arkansas in October was the fourth place team of Dylan Poche and Regan Maxey who brought five keepers in that weighed 10lb 15oz. That sack was also anchored by the Lew’s Big Bass winner for the tournament, a 4lb 9oz beauty that won the anglers two terrific Lew’s reels for their efforts. The final qualifiers who grabbed a regional berth was the team of Cade Gordon and Haden Craig from Benton High School who had a just 3 chunky fish that weighed in at 10lb 2oz to claim the fifth and final spot at the Conference Championship.
The Northwestern State University Coliseum hosted the teams Saturday to a terrific “Pastalayla” dinner that was provided by the city of Natchitoches. Special thanks go out to Mayor Lee Posey and Steve Graf who helped bring the event to Natchitoches and orchestrated the venue change when the Red River became too dangerous to navigate due to the high water conditions. Natchitoches Central High School rolled out the welcome mat for all the anglers as they hosted the weigh-in at the school parking lot just a few minutes from Sibley Lake.
The Louisiana TBF Youth Director Charles Hogg and his family provided manpower for the event which saw a significant increase over last year’s event.
All of these event participants are invited to compete in the TBF/FLW Texas Open on Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend in June as well as the High School Fishing World Finals in July in Florence Alabama. All of those event details as well as full standings for this event can be found at highschoolfishing.org under the “Tournaments” tab.