KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Mobility was the key for Gracie Herbold and Aaron Cherry of Headland Bass Team, who caught a five-bass limit that weighed 16 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Fishing Bassmaster High School Classic tournament on Watts Bar Lake, held in conjunction with the Bassmaster Classic. Hailing from Headland, Ala., the winners found their bass in creeks. Herbold said their bites varied from the mouths to the backs of the creeks, but the key was targeting chunk rock, which held heat.
“It really just depended on where the fish were,” Herbold said. “A lot of times, they were just cruising, and we picked them up.”
Cherry said he and his partner fished Strike King Redeye Shad Tungsten 2-Tap and Strike King 2.5 squarebill crankbaits. Red proved to be the best color for both.
“I think they would have eaten either one, you just had to get it in front of them,” he said.
The key to doing that was a run-and-gun strategy, which took them to 20 different spots.
“He caught three fish back to back in one little area, but for a lot of the time, it was just one every now and then,” Herbold said. “We had a very long lull in the middle of the day where we didn’t catch anything.”
Cherry noted that they caught two good bass late in the day and ended up culling a smaller one.
“I think the sun got up and warmed those rocks,” he said. “The last one I caught was probably in about 3 inches of water. They were really shallow warming up.”
Cherry, who caught most of his fish on the Redeye Shad, said the key to a proper presentation was letting the bait hit bottom and then slow rolling it back. The bites, Herbold said, were convincing.
“You knew when they bit,” she said. “The fish would run straight at you, so you had to reel very fast to catch up.”
The event comprised 10 teams. The qualification format took the top two teams from each of the four 2018 High School Opens, the top two from the 2018 High School National Championship and the 2018 Tennessee State Championship team. One of the 11 eligible teams was unable to participate.
|Bassmaster High School Classic 3/16/2019 – 3/16/2019Watts Bar Lake|
|STANDINGS BOATER DAY 1|
|Name||# Fsh||Lbs - Oz||High School/Club|
|1||Gracie Herbold – Aaron Cherry||5||16-9||Headland Bass Team|
|2||BJ Collins – Garrett Holder||5||15-12||Chatuge Anglers|
|3||Scott Springer – Trust Say||2||9-3||Christy, Springer and Say Community Club|
|4||Grayson Morris – Tucker Smith||2||6-15||Briarwood Christian School|
|5||Caz Anderson – Dean Crisler||2||5-8||Chatuge Anglers|
|6||Marshal Robinson – Mason Fulmer||2||4-13||Byrnes Rebels|
|7||Niko Romero – Isaiah Rios||1||3-11||AZ HS BASS Nation|
|8||Jaxon Brown – Cole Dodson||1||2-15||Gardendale Rockets|
|9||Christopher Capdeboscq – Sam Acosta||0||0-0||Northlake Christian|
|9||Devin Howard – Dawson Mason||0||0-0||Walker Valley High School|
BIG BASS TOTALS
Name City, State Lbs-Oz # Fish # Live Lbs-Oz # Limits
Scott Springer- Trust Say Bolingbrook, IL 5-5 20 20 65-6 2