SMYRNA, Tenn. – Grant Dees and Ben Freeman representing the GCHS Bass Team from Grundy County took over the points lead in the Tennessee Bass Nation High School statewide trail with a third-place finish while Matthew Vandagriff and Asa Robertson from the Warren County High School team won the tournament with a five fish sack weighing 13.58 pounds. Vandagriff and Robertson secured second place in the points race with the win.
135 high school boats battled the cold and tough conditions in Statewide Open #4 along with 27 junior boats competing in the junior event. Teams consist of two student anglers and an adult boat captain in each boat with the students doing the fishing. Each boat tries to catch a legal limit of five bass during tournament hours and have the most weight in fish at the weigh in. All boats follow the same basic rules as professional bass fisherman. High school teams compete for trophies and scholarship dollars while the juniors compete for trophies and fishing gear.
Tennessee Bass Nation High School fishing is currently the largest group in Bassmaster High School fishing after recently surpassing Alabama in number of students in the sport. Students from around the country compete in state and regional events in hopes of earning a spot in the Bassmaster High School National Championship each summer. High school fishing teams have almost become the norm in high schools around the country and numerous colleges now offer fishing scholarships.
Tennessee Bass Nation High School will have two more open tournaments, March 9 on Nickajack out of Marion County Park and April 6 on Kentucky Lake out of Eva Beach in Camden before the state championships May 3 and 4 on Douglas Lake out of the Dandridge ramp. The junior state championship will be May 18 on Tims Ford out of the Winchester City Park.