Michigan B.A.S.S. high school state championships a success

By: Jason Carmel Davis, | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published June 29, 2016

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — The best high school anglers in the state took to the waters of Lake St. Clair June 24-25 for the 2016 Michigan Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society (B.A.S.S.) high school state championships, and the competition went off without a hitch, according to Michigan B.A.S.S. Youth Director Paul Wagner.

“It takes a lot of people to pull something like this off every year,” Wagner said June 27. “We had a lot of parents and kids step in and help us out. We even had some really small kids passing out fliers and running around for us. It was great. To top it all off, a lot of fish were caught.”

Twenty-nine teams of high school anglers — two anglers per team — competed for the chance to advance to the 2016 national championships, set for August at Kentucky Lake, which covers parts of Kentucky and Tennessee. The national champions receive a bass boat and college scholarship funding, according to Wagner.

 Walled Lake Central students Jarrod Willbur, left, and Garrett Tyrell hold up some of the bass they caught on the last day of the 2016 Michigan B.A.S.S. high school state championships. Willbur and Tyrell hauled in more than 32 pounds of bass over the two-day tournament, which took place June 24-25 on Lake St. Clair. The duo advances to the national championships, set for August on Kentucky Lake.

Walled Lake Central students Jarrod Willbur, left, and Garrett Tyrell hold up some of the bass they caught on the last day of the 2016 Michigan B.A.S.S. high school state championships. Willbur and Tyrell hauled in more than 32 pounds of bass over the two-day tournament, which took place June 24-25 on Lake St. Clair. The duo advances to the national championships, set for August on Kentucky Lake.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Anglers went out onto the water at 7 a.m. each day and spent eight hours trying to catch as many fish as possible.

Almost 585 pounds of fish were caught during the state championships, and Walled Lake Central students Garrett Tyrell and Jarrod Willbur captured the state title, with a two-day cumulative total of 32.15 pounds of bass. The weigh-in took place June 25 at Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township.

Other local anglers were 2016 Warren De La Salle graduate Michael Lipinski and De La Salle junior Anthony Rurka, who hauled in nearly 21 pounds of fish during the two-day tournament. Teams came from as far as Coldwater, Michigan, to compete. Other high schools represented included Hartland High, Grand Haven High, Brighton High and Caledonia High.

“The anglers had a lot of fun,” Wagner said. “They even went and competed in another tournament (June 26) on the Detroit River. They put in a lot of time on the water.

“They enjoy it, though. Hopefully, the guys from Walled Lake Central do well (at the national championships).”

Junior Bassmasters take to the water
Six teams of two young anglers, in second through eighth-grades, competed for the Junior Bassmasters title June 24-25 on Lake St. Clair.

The younger anglers spent about five hours on the water each day. Hartland residents Remington Barkley and Nathan Elsey took the junior title with a haul totaling close to 28 pounds.

For more information on Michigan B.A.S.S., including competition dates and how to join its various groups and clubs, check www.michiganbass.net.