Trevor Jeffers and Hunter Bragg, seniors at the Barnwell County Career Center, won the High School Fishing World Finals Championship on Arkansas’ Lake Dardanelle, topping 133 other high school teams from 20 states in the July 17-20 tournament.
Jeffers and Bragg cruised through the first two days of the championship tournament, then struggled on day three, barely qualifying for the final day. The tournament format calls for weights to be zeroed at the beginning of the last day, and as their pattern had not worked on the third day, they decided changing strategies would offer them the best shot at becoming champions, which they did with a five-fish limit weighing 19.11 pounds.
"We just rode up the river and fished frogs and lily pads all day. We have never done that before in the three years we've been here," said Jeffers.
The new strategy paid off, with the pair catching their limit by 10 a.m., then culling quality fish the rest of the day.
Jeffers and Bragg won more than $5,500 each in scholarships and prizes for winning the TBF/FLW-sponsored tournament, considered the most-prestigious event in high- school fishing.
"Just to know we won; it's the best feeling in the world, and it's something we will never forget," Jeffers said.
SC Foothills Bass Anglers Tournament, July 20, Lake Wylie
1. J. McDaniels-Mike McDaniels, 12.78, $460; 2. Louis Mercado-Ronnie Manus, 12.36, $320; 3. Eric Caddell-LJ Claunan, 10.54, $100; 4. Stanley James-Derek James, 10.25, $70; 5. Butch Rodgers-Trey Todgers, 10.02, $30. Big Fish: Rodgers-Rodgers, 4.60, $50.
Lake Wylie Thursday Night Trail, July 18
1. Ben Ruebel (Shelby, N.C.)-Walt Brysiak (Kings Mtn., N.C.), 14.35, $350; 2) Ed Parker (Lake Wylie)-George Baucham (Fort Mill), 13.62, $210; 3) Marc Humphries (Stanley, N.C.)-Mike Carson (Gastonia, N.C.), 12.37, $146; 4) Mike Perry-Matt Sztyber, 11.52, $60; 5) John Hammett (Rock Hill)-Jerry Stedmon (Rock Hill), 11.37, $30. Big Fish: Parker-Baucham, 4.16, $100.
Buddy's Marine Tuesday Night Trail, July 16, Lake Murray
1. Josh Rennebaum (Columbia)-Chris Blanchette (Irmo), 14.73, $400; 2. Andy Sease (Gilbert)-Bo Dixon (Leesville), 13.93, $210; 3. Buddy Walden (Leesville)-Charlie Kuhn (St. Andrews), 13.37, $170; 4. Brandon Jeffcoat (Leesville)-Wendell Causey (Green Sea), 13.20, $110; 5. Charles Wilkie (Lexington)-Ryan Raley (Lexington), 13.01, $44. Big Fish: Brian Key-Hunter Key (Pomaria), 5.61, $110.
Striper Kings Tournament 7, July 20, Lake Hartwell
1. Joey Holden-John McCall, 29.70, $135; 2. Bruce Fowler-Robert Griswald-Bobby Southerland-Nathan Fowler, 29.15, $115; 3. Chris Childs-Jim Reese-Scoty Reese, 26.95, $90. Big Fish: John McCall, 11.25, $143. Top Youth Fish: Nathan Fowler, 9.10.