CALEB HUDSON of Greenbrier High School in Evans caught the biggest fish of the day. It weighed in at 8.89 pounds. Caleb and teammate Tanner Hadden came in second place overall in the tournament. In the background is tournament director Wes Meadows.
It was a cold start for Tired Creek Lake’s very first fishing tournament, but Georgia’s Top 20 high school fishing teams showed up before sunrise Sunday for the Angler of the Year Shootout hosted by the Georgia BASS Nation High School Fishing. The tournament included 20 teams, each consisting of two high school anglers and one adult boat captain.
The day began with a prayer and national anthem. “Being there at daybreak with a crowd of youth and adults standing at attention to the American flag on the lake during the first fishing tournament to ever be held there was such a special moment,” says Mollie Cohen, who helped the Brookwood School Bass Fishing Team host the event. Cohen’s son, Bradley, fishes with the Brookwood team.
Teams competing Sunday included, Chatuge Anglers (two teams); Cook H.S.; Fall Line Bass Team; Greenbrier H.S. (two teams); Harris County H.S.; Irwin County H.S.; Lee County H.S.; Marietta BassMasters II; MBMII; Morgan County H.S.; Mount Bethel Christian Academy; Newton H.S.; Oconee Fishing Club (two teams); Ola H.S.; Towns County H.S.; Troup County H.S.; and Union County H.S.
The Newton High School team of Taylor McMullen and J.D. Coltharp won first place in the tournament with a net score of 17.72. The team caught the second biggest fish of the tournament, which weighed in at 8.45 pounds.
The Greenbrier High School team of Caleb Hudson and Tanner Hadden caught the biggest fish at 8.89 pounds, and came in second overall with a net score of 17.29, according to Wes Meadows of Cairo who is tournament director.
The weigh-in at 3 p.m. Sunday was open to the public, and a large crowd of local residents came out to cheer on the fishing youth.
Meadows says he had positive feedback on the anglers’ overall experiences. He says, “I have had a lot of anglers tell me how much they enjoyed their time on the lake. They also stated that they plan on coming back when they have the chance. I am glad that I was able to bring this event to Tired Creek and boost our community.”
The cold snap made fishing a little more challenging for the anglers, but Cohen said she also heard good reviews. “The anglers and boat captains were thrilled to have the opportunity to fish on Tired Creek Lake and many of them bragged about what a great day they had, and said they hoped to come back to fish again when it’s warmer. Several commented on how pretty the lake is, how clear the water was despite the recent rain, and how they were very pleased with their first fishing experience here,” she relayed.
In addition to the fishing, each participant received meals and a “swag” bag filled with Tired Creek Lake apparel thanks to many local businesses that sponsored the event.
The high school anglers have been competing in tournaments since last fall. The Top 20 eligible to compete at Tired Creek Lake were announced Saturday after a tournament that was held on Lake Seminole.
Sponsors of the tournament were: Ag-Pro; Ameris Bank; Big Bend Agri-Services; Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce; Capital City Bank; Care 360; City of Cairo; Family Worship Center; First National Bank; Hobson Chevrolet; Home Slice; Maryland Fried Chicken; Mr. Chick; New Hire Solutions; South Georgia Tractor; Stallings Motors; and United National Bank.