Basscats have strong showing in Lake Seminole tournament

Published 5:31 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Dustin Hand and Blake Daughtry won the high school bass tournament on Lake Seminole with a five fish limit weighing a total of 17.38-pounds.

The Bainbridge High School Basscats had the home lake advantage during the high school bass tour’s stop on Lake Seminole on Saturday. The familiarity with the lake paid dividends for the Basscats as Bainbridge teams finished in first and third overall and occupied nine of the top 35 spots overall.

“To see them be able to succeed and potentially be able to qualify for state here, that is an awesome thing,” Basscat coach Roy Mathews said of his team’s performance. “I think on the flip side because this is our home, we ought to have somebody up in the placing. We ought to fill the podium up.”

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Blake Daughtry and Dustin Hand finished the day in the hot seat with a five fish limit weighing a total of 17.38 pounds. Daughtry said that they found success fishing in the creek. With the victory the duo also qualifies for state as long as they fish in two more tournaments during the season.

The Junior Basscat duo of Bowynn Brown and Owen Richard finished in third overall and first in the junior division after occupying the top spot for most of the afternoon. They caught a five fish limit weighing a total 14.08 pounds.

The big fish of the day belonged to junior Basscats Gunner Thomas and Chase Harrell who caught a bass weighing 5.78 pounds. They had a total weight of 7.59 pounds for their two fish, good for 13th place overall.

In all, a total of nine Bainbridge teams qualified for the high school or junior state tournament based on their performance on Lake Seminole.

The teams that qualified for the state tournament in June are:  Blake Daugthry and Dustin Hand, Bryson Arthur and Cuyler Duke, Griffin Long and Dalton Harrell and Lanie Birdsong and Alyson Matthews in the senior division. In the junior division: Bowynn Brown and Owen Richard, Gunner Thomas and Chase Harrell, Cason Priest and Garrett Cox, Hilton White and Anibal Garcia and Reece Conley and Ashton Aldridge.

There were 109 total boats competing in the Lake Seminole high school tournament and there were another 140 boats competing in the college tournament, which made for a crowded lake on Saturday.

“I think it is extremely tough fishing,” Mathews said. “You probably see on the list how many zeroes there were. There was a lot of pressure of the lake. Wherever you go, it wasn’t somebody sitting on your spot. It was ten somebodies sitting on your spot. Competing through all of that, they were still able to manage to find fish, land them and put them in the boat.”

There are four tournaments remaining on the tour this season and each Bearcat team will have to compete in at least two if them to lock in their spot in the state champion.

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