Hadden & Starkey Take Top Honors at GHSA Qualifier at Lake Oconee

It was another great turnout for the first year Georgia High School Association (GHSA) program on Lake Oconee this past weekend.  A total of 133 teams from all across Georgia showed up at Sugar Creek Marina on an unusually cold spring morning.  Event with the cold temps, spirits were high as anglers were eager to get out on the water to try their luck.  As this was the third of four qualifying events, with 133 teams we were able to qualify 18 more teams to the GHSA Finals on Lake Lanier on May 8, 2021.

Tanner Hadden and Tyler Starkey, from Greenbrier High School, came out as the winners as they managed to bring 13-04 pounds to the scales Saturday afternoon.

Weights were very close in this event as the top five teams were only separated by just one pound.  Finishing second was the Tift County team of Kolby Jordan and Russell Thomas with 12-14 pounds.  Finishing in third place was Blake & Caleb Edwards from North Paulding High School with 12-10 pounds.  Also finishing in the top five were the teams of Will Thomas and Landon Huff, from Morgan County with 12-06 pounds and then Storm Clark and Gunner Williamson, from Harris County High School with 12-05 pounds.

Most of the teams that came across the stage, stated that they caught their fish between two to six feet of water.  Several teams used flukes, trick worms, soft plastics, rattletraps and A-rigs to catch their fish.  Anglers were fishing the matted grass lines and also docks and along rip-rap banks as the dominant structure for the day.  Most teams said that even though they caught a limit of fish, they did not get to cull very many times during the day.

There is one last qualifying event left this season, which will be on April 10 at Lake Hartwell on the Georgia side of the lake.  After the completion of that event, the finals will be held on May 8 on Lake Lanier out of Laurel Park.

Full results can be found HERE and all the numerous pictures can be viewed and shared on our SAF High School Fishing Facebook page.

Team Griffin Wins GAPPS-GISA Finals on Lake Oconee

The Southland Academy team of Eli and James Griffin took top honors at the Lake Oconee Finals for the GAPPS-GISA program Saturday.  Their limit of fish tipped the scales at 17-01 pounds.  Their biggest fish weighed 5-09 pounds and helped propel them to victory.

At stake at this event was two SAF National Championship entries for the top two teams.  Eli and James will be heading to Lake Hartwell on June 30-July 3 to participate in that event.  Joining them at Lake Hartwell will be the second-place finishing team of Brack Solis and Robert Stevenson from Terrell Academy with their limit weight of 15-07 pounds.  Good luck to these two teams at the National Championship.

Rounding out the top five spots on Oconee were Ben Lawson and Brant Beckham from Westfield Academy with 15-03 pounds to finish third.  Fourth place went to Conner Gisler and Luke Taunton with 11-07 pounds.  Fifth place belonged to the Rock Springs Christian School team of Hayes Flemming and Robert Pasley with a limit that weighed 9-14 pounds.

Most all the teams found their fish in less than five feet of water.  Many anglers reported that they were just fishing the back corners of the docks and the fish were setting there waiting to begin the spawn.  Jigs, Brush Hogs, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and crawfish-colored crankbaits were all good choices during this event.  Ben Lawson and Brant Beckham from Westfield Academy weighed in the biggest bass of the day with a 5-12 lunker.  They received a nice goody bag for catching the Biggest Bass of the tournament.

To view full the results click HERE.  All the photos from this event can be found on our SAF High School Fishing Facebook page.

Doren and Luis win Nevada State Championship

The wind was blowing on Lake Mohave March 6, making conditions less then ideal for the Nevada High School State Championship. But that didn’t stop these young anglers from catching a limit.

Carter Doren and Kyle Luis had nice small mouth weighing 4.25lb bringing their total to 10.15lb locking in first place. “ We caught one of our big smallies in 18 foot on a dropshot,” said Carter. “Then tried some more deep and managed to catch two more.”

The second place team of Corey Williams and Izec Easter also had a decent small mouth weighing 4.20lb bringing their total 5.80lb.

Charlie Stewart and Dodger Smith weighed in 4.5lbs locking in third place. Smith said they headed north, stayed deep and worked the drop shot.

The big fish of the day was brought in by Brayden Cook and Talynn Madrid weighing in at 4.35lb. “The day definitely started off slow, we covered a lot of water and were throwing drop shots and jigs all day. We were in the last 15 minutes of the day and I threw my drop shot out and caught a good sized bass!” Cook said. “It was definitely exciting!”

Ben Schafler and Ridge Fletcher were only able to find one keeper weighing 3.04lbs but was a new personal best for Schafler.

Overall all the teams had a great day and walked away with more knowledge and experience, eager for the next tournament.