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Illinois Team Leads Bassmaster High School Championship Presented By Carhartt


PARIS, Tenn.—With nothing to lose at the halfway point of Day 1, Dailus Richardson and Trevor McKinney changed up their game plan. Not only did it pay off, but it also vaulted them into the lead of the Bassmaster High School Championship presented by Carhartt with 20 pounds, 14 ounces.

“We started fishing shallow in the morning,” Richardson said. “During our halftime break, we discussed what we needed to do because we only had one keeper. So, we went and hit our secondary spot and found some fish.”

Even though this Benton High School team lives in Illinois and doesn’t have access to ledge lakes such as Kentucky Lake, that didn’t stop these anglers from making the drive south to put in hard work on this body of water.

“We knew a little bit about the lake, and we knew we would have an advantage over some of the teams that are thousands of miles away,” McKinney said.

Timing is crucial on Tennessee River lakes, and that was no different for the leaders as the pieces fell into place when they made moves and changes throughout the day. Duplicating success from one day to another goes hand in hand with timing your spots correctly.

“Within the first 10 minutes on our secondary spot we caught a 5-pounder,” McKinney said. “Then the next 10 minutes we caught a 6-pounder. It just really worked out.”

Kentucky Lake has been tough in July thus far and adapting to conditions is one aspect that these anglers are already taking into account.

“We won’t run as far as we did,” Richardson said about their plan for tomorrow. “We will probably stay closer and find some more fish close.”

Front Range Bass Club anglers Ryan Wood and Adam Deakin came to a foreign body of water that is completely different than those in their home state of Colorado. Still, the team found success on Day 1 to the tune of 20 pounds, 8 ounces.

“We have never fished ledges before, but we came here before the cutoff and learned some new techniques and gained experience,” Wood said.

Even with trolling motor problems the night before the tournament, these anglers stayed focused and grinded out a tough Day 1 to put themselves in a great position to make the cut and fish on the Carroll County Reservoir.

“We had two fish at our halfway break, with one being a 6-pounder,” Wood said.

They only culled twice and bites came periodically throughout the day.

Tennessee anglers Jake Lee and Jacob Mashburn from Clinton High School showed they are a team to be reckoned with in the High School ranks as they brought 18 pounds, 11 ounces to the scales today and are right in the hunt at the top of the leaderboard.

These anglers are not new to big days and quality finishes as these anglers won the High School Classic on Lay Lake in Alabama in February, and they took the title at the Douglas Open just one month ago. Lee and Mashburn went away from their shallow ways to boat their third-place weight for Day 1.

“Our key was just finding the fish and knowing where they were,” Mashburn said. “Most of our fish catches came here and there, but typically when we would catch one, we could catch another right after.”

With no experience on this particular body of water, Lee and Mashburn made the most of their two practice days to find the necessary schools of fish. Their first practice day was much more successful than the second, even though they found a spot on the last day. They planned on running to their best stuff, but they stopped at a secondary spot to put some quick fish in the boat. They never made it to their best area as the secondary spot held enough to help them stay in contention after Day 1.

The Carhartt Big Bass for Day 1 was caught by Jack Garner from the Douglas Indians bass team in Texas, and it weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces.

The Mudhole Heavy Weight was awarded to the days leaders, Richardson and McKinney for bringing in the heaviest bag of the day.

After tomorrow’s cut day, the field will be split in half from 60 teams to the Top 30. Those 30 teams will head to Carroll County Reservoir, with their weights zeroed, to then compete for the final two days for the championship trophy. Along with trophies, these anglers are competing for scholarship money as well.

The local hosts for the event are Paris-Henry County, Carroll County, Northwest Tennessee Tourism and Bethel University.

2014 Bassmaster High School Presenting Sponsor: Carhartt

2014 Bassmaster High School Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2014 Bassmaster High School Sponsor: Mudhole

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive