July 22, 2011 – The heat wave continued today here at Lake Dardanelle. The pool levels fluctuated a little here on the Arkansas River system and it seemed to help a lot of our high school teams today.
Yesterday’s second place team Cody and Trevor Jeffers of BCCC (Barnwell County Career Center) Youth Bass Team in Barnwell, SC, our only team from South Carolina, jumped into first today with just a few ounce lead. They caught another 5 bass limit that weighed 10 lbs 1 oz, making their two-day cumulative weight 24 lbs 3 oz. “If we won this tournament, this might be our only chance to go to college by getting this 4 year scholarship with Bethel University. It would mean a lot to us.”
Second place team is no stranger to the top 7 and is the only team to repeat. Arizona Bass Busters team of Thomas Chambers and Brandon Koon finished in second place overall last year and are going to do what it takes to make sure they take the Championship home this year. They weighed in the biggest sack of the tournament so far with 17 lbs 12 oz which jumped them from 28th place clear up to the 2nd slot. Yesterday they weighed in 3 fish that weighed 6 lbs 3 oz. Their 2-day combined weight is 23 lbs 15 oz, just 4 oz shy of taking over the lead today. “About noon we started throwing a crank bait and started catching them back to back. We caught most of our big fish off the same spot today and we left about an hour before so we can go right back to that spot again tomorrow. We plan on trying to catch a limit early, then upgrade if we need to off that same spot.”
Fishing in the final field tomorrow there are three members of two state’s SAF State Championships fishing. Meade County Kentucky’s state championship team member Stephen Compton is paired up with Curt Lindsey for this tournament. They are sitting in 3rd place with 21 lbs 12 oz. Arkansas State Champions Kendall Goates and Cody Chessher of Dover High School Fishing Club are sitting in 4th place with 21 lbs 12 oz as well.
The top 7 has teams from South Carolina, Arizona, Kentucky, Arkansas and North Carolina. Fifth place team is Kristopher and Chelsey Queen of Bandys High School Trojans (NC). 6th place, Devin Baxley and TJ Miller of Greenbrier, AR and 7th Place is Cody Mecalo and Cody Seats of North Pulaski High School.
Tomorrow, the weights will be zeroed and the playing field will be leveled. Weigh-in for the 7 finalists begins at 2:30pm. The top 7 teams will be awarded with scholarships, trophies, plaques and prizes that they can use when going to college such as TVs, laptops, dorm refrigerators as well as fishing equipment and gift cards.
Bethel University, in McKenzie, Tenn., near the shores of the famous Kentucky Barkley Lake has stepped forward in a huge way once again. They’re offering a $4,000/year scholarship, renewable all four years to BOTH world championship team anglers for the second year! That’s a $32,000 package just to start! These anglers would get a top level education, as well as, spots on the Bethel University Collegiate Bass Fishing Team. In addition, the HSFWF Champions will earn spots in the 2012 BoatUS/ACA Collegiate National Championship to compete against college fishing’s elite with use of a custom wrapped Ranger boat all week.
A brand new event to the 2011 High School Fishing World Finals this year, a unique consolation tournament that is for all teams who did not make the top 7. Both anglers PLUS the boat captain can fish in this first ever one-of-a-kind tournament. Just a small catch, the boat captain MUST catch his first fish of the day on a rod and reel provided by TBF, then he may use any of his own equipment the rest of the day. Each team will have a chance to weigh-in one bass, BUT they can also weigh-in one of any other species of fish they can catch! There is no limit to how many different species they can weigh-in, but the team who brings in the MOST species will win the Cabela’s Consolation Grand Champion Team prize. The team who weighs in the heaviest of each species weighed-in will also win awards! Teams may use live bait to catch any fish EXCEPT the bass, which must be caught on artificial bait. Weigh-in for the consolation tournament begins at noon and will be live streamed on the Internet at http://highschoolfishing.ihigh.com as well as the finalist weigh-in to begin at 2:30pm CST.
Tomorrow, the secret judging panels will reveal the recipients of the special awards – School Spirit (awarded to a club), Marketing Award, Conservation Award, Sportsmanship Award and Going the Distance Awards. Those will be awarded immediately before the finalists weigh-in.
All teams and their families will be heading out this evening to Hog Wild Family Fun Center here in Russellville, AR for the Friday night FUN, DANCING, FOOD, GAMES and PRIZES! Lots of fun to be had and recognition of the top 7 finalists.
Tomorrow will be a day full activities out at Lake Dardanelle State Park, you won’t want to miss it. There will be a Ranger Boat simulator available, a tent with local vendors, snow cones and concession as well as a grand prize drawing that is available for everyone to enter. Must be present to win. This event is free and open to the public!
The Bass Federation Inc., (TBF), is the oldest and largest, organized grassroots fishing, youth and conservation organization in America and the new home to the Future Fisherman’s Foundation (F3). TBF is owned by those it serves and is dedicated to the sport of fishing. 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 the foundation for the entire bass fishing industry for more than 40 years.
For more information about Student Anglers Federation, (SAF) or The Bass Federation, (TBF) visit highschoolfishing.org, or bassfederation.com or call 580.765.9031.