Young anglers from Dorman and Abbeville high schools and Dixie Middle School came out on top in the inaugural SCDNR Youth Bass Fishing Championship, held March 23 on Lake Murray, with the weigh-in at the Palmetto Sportsman's Classic.

The field included more than 100 anglers on 12 high-school and nine middle-school teams. Abbeville was originally announced as the winning team, but officials discovered a clerical error in the calculations of Dorman's team weight and elevated the Spartanburg school into a tie for first in the high school division. Dixie won the middle school division.

Places were determined by taking the total weight of each school's catch and dividing it by the number of team members, giving a "team weight average."

Schools were allowed to bring up to six anglers. Dorman brought only four: Cody Richardson and Hunter Green weighed in a 5-fish limit at 13.88 pounds, and Eric Xaihamaharn and Brandon Park caught two fish that weighed 11.21 for a team average of 12.54. Abbeville's Alex DuBose and Derek Hughes caught three fish weighing 14.04 pounds, Tripp Griffin and Austin Morris caught four weighing 11.4 pounds, and Carter McNeil and Tucker Smith blanked, giving Abbeville an average of 8.48.

 

"We had an error in the calculation of Dorman High School's weight," said SCDNR's Lorraine Riggin. "We felt that awarding two first places would do the least amount of harm to the student anglers. We will be tabulating our scores differently next year."

 

Chapman High School's team of Amber Easler, Travis West, Cearia Large, Dustin Turner, Ryan Burnett and Dillon Bailey were third with 8.19. Mid-Carolina High School – Jase Knight, Jody Perry, Michael Morris, Collin Long, Robbie Long and Ken Nicholson – finished fourth but took home two other awards: Jase Knight and Jody Perry won the Biggest Bag Scholarship Award after catching four fish weighing 19.58 lbs – the biggest bag for one pair of anglers, a catch that was anchored by Knight's 8.92-pound bass, the tournament's big fish.

 

Conway High School rounded out the top five with its team of Bradley Thompkins, Jacob Barfield, Brody Lavoie, Colin Drew, Ford Courtney and Reid O'Quinn.

 

Dixie Middle School won the Middle School Division, as Andrew Mitchell, Dylan Powell, Mason Johnson and Jarrett Driver produced a 10.79-pound average, inning by more than a pound over runner-up Greer, whose 9.36-pound score came from Gabe Hannon, Matthew Pearson, Noah Sanford and Dillon Blakeman.

 

Camden Middle took third place, as Davis Cobb and Price Peebles managed two fish for 9.07 pounds for the Bulldogs. Wright Middle's Colin Slentz, Evan Slentz, Daelyn Whaley, Drake Boyd, Evan Hughes and Bryce Jackson combined for 7.92 and fourth place, followed by Gray Court-Owings with Jacob Thacker and Jonathan Stewart recording 5.09 for their lone fish.

 

OTHER TOURNAMENTS 

TOM CATT, Lake Wateree, March 30

1. Craig Matthews-Stevey Walker, 20.25, $870; 2. James Clements(Hartsville)-Fred Clements (Camden), 19.29, $350; 3. Kane Simpson(Fort Mill)-Tracey Simpson (Fort Mill), 19.27, $100; 4. Mark Richardson (Columbia), 18.27, $0; 5. Donald Hinson (Lugoff)-Pat Clark (Camden), 18.11, $120 (Big Fish Award).

 

South Carolina Crappie Classic, Lake Wateree, March 23

1. Will Hinson-Joey Hilton, 15.44, $1000; 2. Ellis Cannon-Jon Cannon, 14.85, $1233; 3. Mike Huffstetler-Ray Koon, 14.49, $1200; 4. Marc Danque, 14.02, $400; 5. Russell Riley-Allen Outlaw, 13.76, $777 (Big Fish Award).

 

SC Bass Federation Santee Tournament, March 9

1. Jackie Stanford (Gaffney), 12.08, $500; 2. James Clements (Hartsville), 11.40, $300; 3. Archie Neal (Easley), 11.37, $250; 4. Corey Lewis (Liberty), 9.4, $100; 5. Michael Carson (Gastonia, NC), 8.36, $100.

 

Summerville Bassmasters Open Benefit, Lake Marion, March 30

1. Elvis Peagler, Sr. (Summerville), 18.34, $500; 2. Augie Mendoza (Summerville), 17.92, $400; 3. Ron Brown (Summerville), 15.36; 4. Roger Lindley (Summerville), 14; 5. Teddie Thiele (Summerville), 8.66.

 

Catawba Catfish Club, Fishing Creek, March 231. Lindsay Bigham (Florence), 72.55, $420; 2. Jeff Manning (Columbia)-Michael Piaccoco, 70.30, $252; 3. Randy Gurley (Rock Hill)-Sheldon Gurley (Little Rock), 48.65, $168; 4. Shane Queen (Greenwood)-Mark Nance (Taylors), 45; 5. Jason Knight (Lake Wateree)-John Terry (Gastonia, NC)-Strawberry Wooten (Gastonia, NC), 44.50.