TFS bass fishing pair catches state berth at first tournament
One pair of student-anglers has qualified for state-level completion after the season’s first bass fishing tournament.
Four of the five Tallulah Falls School bass fishing pairs traveled to Lake Seminole for the Georgia Bass Nation High School event held Sept. 15 with Team Williams [senior Marshall Harrelson of Clarkesville and junior Marshall Williams of Toccoa] placing seventh.
“We drove five and half hours to fish in the first of eight regular-season state-qualifier tournaments scheduled around the state,” said Russell Williams, captain for Team Williams and TFS team leader.
Lake Seminole, located on the Georgia-Florida border, is a 37,500-acre reservoir created by damming the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers along with Spring Creek at their confluence where the Apalachicola River forms.
“This naturally beautiful impoundment, filled with huge alligators, snakes and waterfowl can be somewhat challenging for our anglers to fish given the unfamiliar amount of aquatic vegetation prevalent in Lake Seminole but not found in any of our area lakes,” he said.
The competitors endured high temperatures to fish at a lake typically dominated by local anglers for this season’s opener, Williams said.
“With the temperature reaching 96 degrees, Team Harrelson [senior Will Jackson of Clarkesville and junior Thomas Harris of Clarkesville], Team James [seventh-grader Molly Mitchell of Cornelia and sixth-grader Haygan James of Demorest and Team Mitchell [sixth-graders Koen Eller and Jacob Mitchell, both of Cornelia] fished hard all during practice and throughout the tournament day.”
Thirty percent of the teams were unable to bring any fish to the scales due to the tough late summer conditions, he said.
Team Williams, going into their fourth year as teammates, generated different results with a total creel weight of 15.34 pounds.
“Relying on their knowledge gained in practice, the two anglers were able to leverage proven techniques, locations and varying fishing styles to produce a five-fish limit to bring to the weigh-in scales,” he said. “This bag of fish, which was immediately released alive and healthy after the weigh-in, put them in seventh place in a field of 129 other teams.”
This will be the fourth straight state championship appearance for Team Williams. In the two previous years, they finished ranked No. 6 [2016-17] in the state and No. 11 [2017-18] in the Angler of the Year competition for Georgia.
Having qualified for state competition in the first tournament of the season, Team Williams can now focus on the AOY (Angler of the Year) points competition in an effort to qualify for the national championship.
“We are looking forward to each and every tournament scheduled for us to compete in over the next several months,” Russell Williams said.
For more information on competitive bass fishing at TFS, call 706-839-2024.