Girls Hold Upper Hand in Arkansas H.S. Bass Championship
Jun 6th, 2014 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jun 6th, 2014 at 12:00 AM
BULL SHOALS – Don’t try to tell an Arkansas girl she can’t compete in bass fishing.
In the 2014 Arkansas High School State Championship bass tournament on Bull Shoals Lake, three of the top four competitors were females.
The event matched 97 two-angler teams from across the state in a one-day tournament. Only a couple of ounces separate the winning team from Highland High School and the runners-up from Flippin High School.
The high school championship is a project of The Bass Federation, a division of FLW Outdoors. After the state champion events around the nation, regional competitions come next then the national championship. This year the nationals will be on Lake Dardanelle in July.
Emma Johnson and Preston Wilfs of Highland brought in a tournament limit of five bass weighing 11.52 pounds to take the top spot. Each received a handsome trophy and a $5,000 scholarship from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s Aquaculture and Fisheries Department. Johnson and Wilfs have completed their junior years in school.
Johnson said, “We caught most of our fish on soft plastics, green pumpkinseed color. My dad, Jeff Johnson, was our driver. We have fished on this lake a lot.”
Under tournament rules, an adult, often the team coach, must operate the boat.
Brooke Pace and Amy May came in a close second with 11.27 pounds on five bass. May has just graduated from Flippin High, and Pace just completed her junior year. Both are experienced in fishing on Bull Shoals Lake.
Third place went to Beau Cantrell and Hunter Lawson of Lake Hamilton with five bass that weighed 10.99 pounds.
The top nine teams will advance to regional competition, which will be in October in Louisiana. From there, the top competitors will go to next summer’s national tournament.
Complete results from the tournament can be found at: http://www.highschoolfishing.org/saf/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Copy-of-2014-Arkansas-High-School-Fishing-State-Championship-weigh-in-final1.pdf.