The Shoals Youth Bassmasters (SYBM) held the final tournament of the 2018 season on Pickwick Lake this past Saturday, September 8. Fifty young anglers from four years old to sixteen braved the hot temps to tangle with Pickwick’s largemouth and smallmouth bass.
The placing winners in each age division managed to bring in mixed bags to the scales. Weighmaster Ernie Darracott and Kenny Laxson handled the scale duties for the contenders. The size minimum was 15”.
The total weight of the trophy winners in each age group totaled 63.56 pounds of green and brown bass.
Spence Lovett took first place in the 10 and Under Division with a whopping 14 lbs. 13 oz. In the 11 to 15 Age Division was Fisher
Heard in first place with a good bag going 9 lbs. 9 oz. Laural Fogle had the 16 to 18 Age Division field all to herself and got first place for her 1 lb. 7 oz. total weight.
Some of the young anglers were tight-lipped about the lures they used but a few spilled the beans. Shakey head rigs, drop shots, jigs and square bills seemed to be the lures of choice – at least for those that shared their info.
Individual awards to SYBM members included Anglers of the Year (AOY) in each age division and Big Fish of the Year from all of the ages. Spence Lovett won Angler of the Year in the10 and Under Age Group as well as the Lunker Smallmouth of the year- a hefty 4 lb. 13 oz. brownback. He took home a $50 BassPro gift card for AOY and another $50 BassPro gift card for the big fish. Hunter Hardy qualified as AOY runner-up in the10 and under age group and was awarded a $25 Shoals Outdoor Sports Gift Card. Fisher Heard took Angler of the Year in the 11 to 15 age group worth a $50 BassPro gift card.
A traditional picnic is held after the final tournament of the year for the club members. Director Richard Laxon presented the youthful anglers with trophies and gifts like an Amazon Fire7 and two bags of other donated fishing items. Additional draw prizes add to the excitement. Laxson also called attention to the individual club supporters and sponsors.
Often forgotten are the dads, granddads and maybe uncles or family friends that act as “boat captains” for each of the SYBM anglers. These adults ensure the safety and supervise the fishing for the youthful competitors in each tournament. As the youth photos show, the time is well spent.
Parents of the youth presented Laxson a gift to show their appreciation for all the work he does for youth anglers year after year. Well deserved.
Tournament results for September 8th, 2018 at Pickwick Lake, McFarland
10 and Under
1st Place: Spence Lovett 14 lbs. 13 oz.
2nd Place: Case McMahan 8 lbs. 13 oz.
3rd Place: Castin Smith 5 lbs. 14 oz.
4th Place: Hunter Hardy 5 lbs. 9 oz.
11 to 15 Group
1st Place: Fisher Heard 9 lbs. 9 oz.
2nd Place: Andrew Littleton 6 lbs. 15 oz.
3rd Place: Sam Letson 5 lbs. 11 oz.
4th Place: Hunter Brewer 4 lbs. 14 oz.
16 to 18 Group
1st Place: Laural Fogle 1 lb. 7 oz.
The club fishes six tournaments a year rotating between Wheeler, Wilson and Pickwick Lakes in North Alabama. The fishing hours are 6 AM to 11 AM. The club is the oldest and largest active B.A.S.S. Youth clubs in the country.
Information about the organization and how to join for the 2019 season is available from director Richard Laxson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The complete photo album for the tournament is posted. Please click HERE to be taken to the album. The photos may be viewed and/or downloaded for personal use. Double click on any photo to view at full size.
From the tournament