The bite was tough on Day 1, blazing hot on Day 2, and infuriating on Day 3.
Put it all together and it equaled a memorable, yet slightly disappointing, outing for a pair of local anglers at the Bassmaster High School National Championships.
Grand Haven’s Hunter Scharphorn and Keegan Findley finished 13th at the national event, which took place on a pair of different lakes in Tennessee last week.
They struggled mightily on Day 1, weighing in just one fish. Day 2 was a different story as they started off with a giant largemouth and finished with 16 pounds, 4 ounces.
They sat in 13th place after the first two days, which advanced them to Day 3, where they caught more than 70 bass, but only four keepers. They came up just a few ounces short of the top 10 cutoff, and had to settle for 13th place.
“Right now, I’m disappointed we didn’t make the cut,” said Scharphorn, a recent GHHS graduate who will attend Lake Superior State University in the fall. “If we had made the cut, we’d have probably been top five. It was definitely an amazing experience to be able to go do that, the first-ever high school national championship.”
The tournament began last week Wednesday on Kentucky Lake, which is part of the Tennessee River system.
The local pair thought they had a successful system dialed in on their practice day, but on Day 1, the fish simply weren’t there. They finished the day with just one bass, which weighed in at 4 pounds, 15 ounces.
On Day 2, Scharphorn and Findley didn’t change much, using the same techniques, and they were rewarded with a big day on the water.
“We lost a bunch of fish that (first) day, and it was not going good,” Scharphorn said. “We went back to the motel and we knew we had to put something together, so we fished the exact same pattern, and in the first 5-10 minutes, I caught a 6-pounder, and we just went from there. Keegan caught about a 2 ¼ pounder, then about an hour or two later, I caught a 3 ½ pounder. Keegan caught another decent keeper, and we kept catching 2-pounders after that, so we caught almost 17 pounds on Day 2.”
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