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TFS junior division bass fishing team captures second at Allatoona tournament
Six student-anglers from Tallulah Falls School traveled to Lake Allatoona on Oct. 14 to fish the second of eight Georgia Bass Nation High School tournaments.
The junior division team representing the TFS Bass Fishing Club – sixth-grader Molly Mitchell and brother Jacob, a fifth-grader, finished second with their five-fish limit of both spotted and largemouth bass.
“That finish qualifies them for the state tournament,” said Jeff Mitchell, team captain and proud father of the pair.
“It was a great event for all the anglers,” Mitchell said.
Junior Will Jackson of Clarkesville and sophomore Thomas Harris of Clarkesville competed in their first tournament of the year, with junior Marshall Harrelson of Clarkesville and sophomore Marshall Williams of Homer competing in their second tournament of the season. The tournament drew 143 high school and 20 junior division teams.
“Commonly referred to as ‘The Dead Sea’ by anglers, Allatoona has quite a reputation for being a difficult fishery,” Mitchell said. “Allatoona is primarily a spotted bass lake with the main forage being threadfin shad; however, largemouth bass is present in the lake and can be targeted by anglers.”
During the practice day, all three teams were able to catch fish and establish patterns, Mitchell said.
“Tournament veterans Marshall and Marshall are great fishermen and were able to point the other teams in the right direction as to where to start and what techniques seemed to be producing,” he said. “I had the opportunity to captain for them briefly during the tournament and their determination and knowledge was impressive.”
According to Mitchell, after the practice day, all of the TFS anglers collaborated and developed plans for tournament day with each student-angler team bringing new information to the other teams about what they felt was and was not producing.
“It was a great team atmosphere,” Mitchell said. “Each team discussed patterns, locations and even provided other teams with the baits they had caught fish with so everyone could use them. All the teams helped each other prepare and organize the boats for tournament day.”
Although the prep didn’t translate as well for the two high school teams, Harrelson and Williams also caught the limit of five bass.
“Marshall and Marshall had been catching very good quality fish during pre-fish, but the bigger fish just didn’t cooperate on tournament day,” Mitchell said. “They caught a lot of fish during the tournament, they just ended up being on the small side.”
According to Mitchell, Jackson and Harris worked hard throughout the day, but just couldn’t get a fish to cooperate. “At Allatoona, that’s not uncommon,” he said. “Nearly 30 percent of the tournament field came up empty. It was their first tournament, so the odds were really stacked against them.
“The two fished very hard all day and I am very proud of them,” said Darrin Harrelson, who captains for Jackson and Harris.
One member of the junior division team was fishing with an injury, but it didn’t slow her down, Mitchell said.
“Molly fractured a bone in her foot trying out for the TFS Middle School Basketball team earlier in the week, but the boot she was wearing didn’t seem to affect her ability to fish,” he said.
President and Head of School Larry A. Peevy, an avid supporter of the bass fishing club since its launch last year, was thrilled with the younger angler’s success.
“With the growth of the bass fishing club, we know this pair will continue to excel in this exciting sport,” Peevy said. “I’m especially proud, too, of our original student-angler pair, Marshall Harrelson and Marshall Williams, for providing leadership to the new club members.”
The next tournament is set for Nov. 15 at Lake Oconee.
Courtesy of Tallulah Falls School
Six student-anglers from Tallulah Falls School traveled to Lake Allatoona on Oct. 14 to fish the second of eight Georgia Bass Nation High School tournaments. The junior division team representing the TFS Bass Fishing Club – sixth-grader Molly Mitchell and brother Jacob, a fifth-grader – finished second with their five-fish limit of both spotted and largemouth bass.