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Daily LIVE video of the weigh in for the 2018 High School Fishing World Finals and the High School National Championship begins at 1:30pm CDT each day June 27, 28, 29 & June 30 LIVE from Florence, Alabama

Here is a link to help you understand this dual event format! CLICK HERE scroll down to the graphic overview!

 

Click here to watch LIVE weighin on our SAF High School Channel!

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McNutt and Raper Take the Championship Titles on Neely Henry

The 2018 Alabama High School Fishing State Championship saw 30 boats on Lake Neely Henry May 19 for the annual event.  The top 10% of SAF State Championship and FLW/TBF Open events advance to the 2018 National Championship held in conjunction with the High School Fishing World Finals.  The 2018 HSFWF’s and National Championship events will return to Lake Pickwick, June 26-30 and the top three teams from this event will be amongst the elite.

Tuscaloosa County High School anglers, Jace McNutt and Jon Hayden Raper topped the field with a five fish limit of bass weighing 16 pounds 6 ounces.  During pre-fishing, McNutt and Raper started their hunt down the river looking for swim, jig and topwater bites.  But, the bite was tough and when they landed it, the fish were small.

The team decided to move upriver fishing ledges and found some quality keepers.  “On tournament day, we again started down river throwing topwater hoping for a big bite,” McNutt and Raper said.  “We only had three small keepers by 8:30 so we moved back up river to our ledge fish.”

Just like in pre-practice that single decision made all the difference.  “Once we made the move we immediately got into fish on a finesse jig and culled up to about 13 pounds,” the pair continued.  “About an hour before weigh in we caught our 2 biggest fish and culled up to the 16.06 pounds we weighed in.”

Landing second place and a ticket to the national contest, was the Sylvania Bass Fishing team of Hunter Hill and Riley Johnson.  Hill and Johnson had a limit of bass weighing 13 pounds 11 ounces.

The final national qualifying spot went to the third place team of Hunter Porter and Peyton Trimm from Hillcrest High School.  The pair had a limit of bass weighing 13 pounds 3 ounces.

The High School Fishing World Finals and National Championship are just around the corner as State Championships and Open events wrap up across the country.  On Lake Neely Henry, three more top-notch teams are added to that list and will face off against the best of the best on Pickwick Lake.

FULL RESULTS

PICTURES

 

Hale and Potter Top the Field at Ohio State Championship

Hale and Potter

Fifty-six teams traveled to compete in the 2018 Ohio High School State Championship on Saturday, May 12 at Alum Creek for the titles and the coveted spots in the 2018 National Championship. Five teams advanced to the national contest held in conjunction with the High School Fishing World Finals, June 26-30 on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala.

Anglers faced a tough Alum Creek and most struggled to find a five fish limit.  Four of the top five teams did, however, and it was enough to punch their tickets to nationals.  Leading the pack was the Oak Hill High School team of Mitchell Hale and Keaton Potter.  Hale and Potter had a limit of bass weighing 9 pounds 11 ounces.  The team got on a healthy school of smallmouth during pre-fishing and locked it up tournament dy for the win.

Tournament Big Bass

“On our pre-fishing day we started looking for largemouth back in coves because we figured we would need a kicker largemouth for the tournament,” Potter said.   “We knew we would need quality size smallmouth to do well in the tournament so that started the hunt for smallmouth.  Eventually, we came along a good looking bank for smallmouth, sure enough they were there and we caught a four and 2 three pound smallmouth.”

“We found a couple places that had a good bit of largemouth and left those areas,” Hale said.  “After pre-fishing, we were talking to our boat captain about how we need to get in there first thing in the morning and he said, ‘as long as we can get in there.'”

Anglers met for registration, a rules briefing and for boat numbers at the Cabela’s in Columbus, Ohio.  “That afternoon we went to sign in for the tournament, you can only imagine our excitement when we were told that we got the 1st boat draw,” Potter said.

“We knew right from there our chances of winning were pretty good,” Hale added.

The pair might had a lucky draw, but luck doesn’t win tournaments, perseverance does.  They battled it out all day to get their keepers.  “We got three smallmouth in the first 30 minutes in the 2-3 pound range,” the team said.  “After about 3-4 hours of just catching short fish we hooked into a decent largemouth back in a cove on a shaky head that was crucial to the bag we had.  In the last hour, we caught a 13 inch smallmouth on a ned rig to end the day.”

Hale and Potter weren’t the only Oak Hill anglers to make a statement.  Three of top five teams advancing were teammates of the Oak Hill High School fishing team.

“I would like to especially thank Coach Lewis for helping to make this experience possible for me and my teammates,” Potter said.  “He and the other boat captains are key factors in this experience.  I am very proud of my team mates for having 3 of the top 5 boats. ”

The top five qualified teams are as follows:

Keaton Potter – Mitchell Hale – Oak Hill High School – 5 fish – 9 pounds 11 ounces

Issac Black – Lucas Wildman – Hartley’s Hawgs – 5 fish – 8 pounds 15 ounces

Cameron Smith – Jacob Blackburn – S.S. Minnows – 5 fish – 8 pounds 7 ounces

Hunter Fleming – Collin Hammond – Oak Hill High School – 4 fish – 7 pounds 12 ounces

Noah Donley – Isaac Morgan – Oak Hill High School – 5 fish – 7 pounds 3 ounces

FULL RESULTS