FLORENCE, AL— Jo Robertson, coach of the CCHS Lakers, completed her eight-year tenure in a good mood Saturday after watching two of her anglers place 13th out of almost 400 boats at last week’s Student Angler Federation World Finals, held on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama.
2019 seniors, Andrew Douglas and Allen Mullins, qualified in three days of preliminary competition to compete for $80,000 in scholarships in the final day of the prestigious tournament.
A change in rules tightened the field by requiring anglers to bring a limit of three fish (instead of the traditional five) to the scales in each day of the competition.
Wednesday’s catch of 10 pounds, 2 ounces set the bar for the duo for the rest of the week. After Thursday’s catch of 9 pounds, the anglers, along with their boat captain, MSU angler, Zach Martin, changed their strategy slightly and that decision paid off with 11 pounds, 4 ounces for Friday’s last day of qualifying rounds. Their three day total (30 pounds, 6 ounces) put them in the hunt on Saturday to claim their spot as some of the best high school anglers in the country.
Mullins stated that he and Douglas rotated out on a variety of spots they had scouted while practicing in anywhere from four to forty feet of water. He added they caught their bass on various soft plastics and D&L jigs and that by the end of the week a finesse presentation was necessary.
Saturday’s top thirty-one finalists competed for prizes and scholarships with the Lakers missing the top ten by only 1 pound, 3 ounces.
Recent CCHS graduate Jacob Hudgin and Grayson County native, Brad Blanton, combined their talents to fish the first three days with a total weight of 24 pounds, 2 ounces with a three fish limit each day. Hudgin plans on continuing his fishing career as an angler for Murray State University in the fall.
This is the fifth consecutive year for the Calloway County Bass Fishing Team to make it through to the last day of the World Finals, which was presented by FLW and the Student Angler Federation.