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Bass Angler Magazine

Louisiana Team Wins National Championship

Costa Bassmaster High School National Championship
Alex Heintze (middle) and Justin Watts (right), won the Costa Bassmaster High School National Championship presented by TNT Fireworks.
Photo by Ronnie Moore/B.A.S.S.

Alex Heintze and Justin Watts of Baton Rouge, La. worked hard to hold the lead at the Costa Bassmaster High School National Championship presented by TNT Fireworks.

Saturday, the Livingston Parish Bassmasters team added a third consecutive 20-plus-pound catch and made the win official. After three days on Kentucky Lake the teenagers caught 66 pounds to win the Costa Bassmaster High School Series’ most elite tournament. Their winning total included daily five-bass limits weighing 20-10, 23-14 and 22-2.

How they won is just as impressive as the margin of victory. During summertime the lake is revered for its trophy bass fishing on main-river channel ledges. Big bass school in deep water and are caught in abundance on crankbaits.

The deep-diving lure never factored in the team’s strategy, nor did the lake’s signature ledges. Instead, Heintze and Watts relied on their fishing strengths in south Louisiana’s shallow bayous.

“We didn’t come here to fish the ledges, so we committed to fishing shallow,” said Heintze, 16, a junior at Denham Springs High School. “The lake set up to fish shallow anyway with the water so high.”

The team’s first stop during practice ended the search for bass. Flooded shoreline habitat, the presence of baitfish and inundated ditches attracted enough bass to sustain their strategy for three days.

“The high water was the difference,” said Watts, 15, a sophomore at Live Oak High School. “Without it the fish wouldn’t be there, and I doubt they will be tomorrow.”

He noted the water dropped overnight by 6 inches for the final day’s fishing. The predator bass hid in the brushpiles to ambush baitfish.

The team alternated between a tube jig and topwater frog. That choice was a black Spro Dean Rojas Signature Series Bronzeye Frog. A Strike King tube jig Texas rigged with a 1/4-ounce weight and 4/0 Trokar hook completed the lure arsenal.

“I never thought we’d come to Kentucky Lake and catch bass like that on a frog, but we did,” Heintze said.

A zig-zig action with the frog was a must and mimicked the motions of the baitfish. The anglers alternated between the two lures to maximize time in the strike zone. When success with the frog slowed, they switched to a flipping presentation with the tube jig.

On Kentucky Lake the team struck early, and their bites came quickly. All of the 20-pound limits were caught by 9 a.m. The team fished the same 150-yard stretch of shoreline.

“We thought of trying other places, but we didn’t know if other contestants might be on the spots,” Watts said. “It didn’t seem like the sportsmanlike thing to do, so we stayed in the same area.”

Louisiana teams claimed the Top 2 spots in the tournament. Braden Blanchard and Cade Fortenberry, fishing for St. Amant High School in St. Amant, La., took second place with 51-15.

The B.A.S.S. Youth Nation Junior Championship coincided with the high school tournament. The 26 qualifying teams from as many states competed for two days on Carroll County Thousand Acre Recreational Lake.

Aaryn Minyard and Hunter Meadows of the Oklahoma City Junior Bassmasters won the tournament with 28 pounds, 7 ounces. The entire catch came on Saturday after the anglers failed to boat a bass on the opening round.

“Friday, we figured out late in the day that we should be fishing deeper,” Meadows said. “Today, we caught our fish on a submerged roadbed sloping from 15 to 20 feet.”

The team caught fish on a 3/4-ounce green pumpkin Strike King jig and a Carolina rigged lizard. The rig was an 8-inch Zoom Magnum Lizard with a 3/4-ounce weight.

Bethel University, an event host, offered four-year scholarships valued at $20,000 each to Heintze and Watts. The scholarship offer was also extended to Jacob Bruener, who competed in the junior championship. Bruener, a student at Douglas High School in Nacogdoches, Texas, caught a largemouth weighing 11 pounds, 14 ounces, from Carroll County Thousand Acre Recreational Lake. The catch is under review as the new lake record.

The championship was the culmination of seasonal qualifying events. Competing was a B.A.S.S. high school fishing record of 134 teams representing 37 states and Ontario. Schools participating in the B.A.S.S. Nation High School Nation program were eligible to qualify two-angler teams to the championship. Teams also qualified through B.A.S.S. regional events and sanctioned affiliate tournament trails.

Teams competed for $94,000 in scholarships and prizes. Heintze and Watts are invited to compete in the Bassmaster High School Classic that coincides with the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro. The championships are next March in Tulsa, Okla.

Official hosts are Paris-Henry County, Carroll County, Northwest Tennessee Tourism and Bethel University.

2015 Bassmaster High School Title Sponsor: Costa

2015 Bassmaster High School Presenting Sponsor: TNT Fireworks

2015 Bassmaster High School Premier Sponsors: Toyota, ABU Garcia, Berkley, Carhartt, GoPro, Huk Performance Fishing, Triton Boats, Yamaha

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, Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

Costa Bassmaster High School Series presented by TNT Fireworks – National Championship 

7/22/2015 – 7/25/2015

Kentucky Lake – Paris Landing State Park – Paris, TN

STANDINGS BOATER DAY 3

Today’s Activity

# Fish Lbs – Oz

Accumulative

Name # Live # Fish # Live Lbs – Oz

1 Alex Heintze – Justin Watts Livingston Parish Bassmasters 5 5 22- 2 15 15 66- 0

2 Braden Blanchard – Cade Fortenberry St Amant High School 5 4 17-14 15 14 51-15

3 Lucas Lindsay – Logan Parks Auburn Anglers 5 4 17-13 14 13 48- 0

4 Hunter Silverstrim – Nathaniel Burris Queen City High School 5 5 12- 2 15 14 45-12

5 Hunter Bouldin – Samuel Vandagrif Warren County 5 5 16-10 14 13 44-10

6 Cole Moore – Casey Haymon Anacoco High School 3 3 8- 2 13 12 42- 9

7 Josh Wissinger – Justin Kanute Hayden High School 5 5 13- 5 14 14 41-12

8 Taylor Ashley – Chase Kanute Hayden High School 5 5 11- 7 15 15 41- 1

9 Michael Arndt – Ryan Hujar New York HS Club 4 4 16-11 13 11 40-15

10 Cody Stahl – Tate VanEgmond Crosspointe Christian Fishing Club 4 4 15-10 14 13 40-13

11 Casey Trosclair – Levi Areno Sulphur High School 4 4 10- 0 14 13 38- 8

12 Trevor Huff – Logan Meredith Pacific Bass Anglers 3 3 7-14 11 9 36- 1

13 Tyler Eagan – Jason Thompson Lees Summit West Fishing Club 10 8 27- 0

14 Connor Nimrod – Trevor Watts Desoto Bass Team 9 8 26-10

15 Garrett Enders – Nick Osman Susquehanna Valley 10 10 26- 5

16 Josh Dugger – Jake Dugger Pottsville HS 9 9 26- 3

17 Nathan Kmiecik – Cole Luetkenhaus Bishop Neuman HS 10 9 26- 1

18 Taylor Cox – Ben Muse Carrollton High School 8 7 25-12

19 Hunter Courvelle – Alex Erickson Sam Houston High School 8 7 25-11

20 Matt Shirley – Cade Barnes Tuscaloosa County High School 7 7 25- 9

21 Bryson Mort – Gabe Litterell Idaho Trophy Bass Hunters 8 6 25- 1

22 Grayson Cook – Bryson Galloway Windsor High School 8 8 23-11

23 Ryan Shields – Austin Hale Hazel Green High School 10 10 23- 6

24 Carter McNeil – Tucker Smith Abbeville High School 10 9 22- 2

25 Brennan Swanson – Adam Hutmacher Chamberlain HS 6 6 21- 3

26 Zach Hingson – Tyler Benedict Arthur Levington Atwood Hammond 8 7 20-15

27 J T Russell – Jared Turnbloom Briarwood High School 6 6 20- 9

28 Ben Riggs – Nick Ratliff Hardin/LaRue 9 9 20- 5

29 Zeke Gossett – Hayden Bartee Pell City High School 10 10 19- 9

30 Jeremy Bates – Joshua Holden Bishop Brady HS 6 6 18-12

31 Cole Schmucker – Chandler Cornelius George Jenkins HS 7 7 18-11

32 Tristan Thomas – Dakota Crumely East Hall Anglers 5 5 17-10

33 Max McQuiade – Conner Foley MA High School 6 6 17- 4

34 Bailey Fain – Justin Selvidge Lenoir City High School 6 6 16-13

35 Nathan Walley – Caleb Parker Heidelberg Academy 6 5 16-11

36 Kyle Ingleburger – Kyle Palmer Grundy County HS 5 5 15-15

37 Michael Duarte – Richie Martin Sparrows Point HS 8 8 15-14

38 Matt Miller – Adrian Stafford Southside Anglers 5 5 14-11

39 Blake Albertson – Jordan Mullis Southside Anglers 4 4 14- 9

40 Justin Barnes – Sutton Black Monroe Student Bass Anglers 6 5 14- 1

41 Luke Jasper – Tommy Rimbo Lemont High School 5 5 13-12

42 Will Moffett – Kyle McCormick Franklin County High School 5 5 13- 9

43 Trevor Yates – Evan Wahpekeche LIttle Axe Bass Club 5 5 13- 7

44 Julius Mazy – Thomas Sendek Arizona High School Club 5 4 13- 7

45 Fischer Keel – Auburn Anglers 6 6 13- 5

46 Dylan Berry – Chase Berry Madison Anglers 4 4 13- 2

47 Dillon King – Kody Kelly Livingston Parish Bass Masters – 5 4 12- 8

48 Dailus Richardson – Trevor McKinney Benton High School 5 5 12- 6

49 Connor Edwards – Braden Lovely American Christian Academy 6 6 12- 6

50 Keaton Zarr – Michael Yarger Susquehanna Valley Fishing Club 6 6 11-15

51 Spencer Lambert – Jeffrey Tyler West Monroe Rebel Bass Club 6 6 11-12

52 Colten Smith – Rafet White Strawberry Crest HS 6 6 11-11

53 Andrew Flair – Ethan Mally Omaha Bass Assassins 3 3 11-11

54 Tyler Dunn – Matthew Shrewsbury Beddingfield Bassers 3 3 11-11

55 Josh Powers – Cole Stewart Grundy County HS 2 2 11-10

56 Ryan Winchester – Jacob Mashburn Clinton High School 4 4 11- 7

57 Mason Raveling – Ben Provost Prior Lake High Schol 5 5 11- 6

58 Jacob Woods – Austin Winter Lenoir City 6 6 11- 6

59 Ian Oldenburg – Dawson Lack Pacific Bass Anglers 4 4 11- 2

60 Blake Seaton – Zack Bauer Martinsville HS 5 5 10-12

61 Nick Fulks – John Eckels Canon McMillan High School 3 3 10- 2

62 Joe Koon – Dozier Greer Eufaula HS 4 3 10- 0

63 Austin Gaab – Jacob Jones Susquehanna Valley Fishing Club 4 4 9-14

64 Case Anderson – Grant Hodosi Grundy County HS 4 4 9-12

65 Bailey Nelson – John Justiss Hillcrest High School 4 4 9-10

66 Gil Crew – Reese Kingston Alexander HS 5 5 9- 9

67 Russell Butler – Jonathan North Strawberry Crest HS 4 4 9- 8

68 Cole Burdeshaw – Jacob Hartzog Headland Bass Team 4 4 9- 8

69 Christian Mathews – Cole Ward North Desoto High School 4 4 9- 3

70 Joseph Bruener – Jack Garner Douglass Indians 3 3 9- 2

71 Sammy Camut – Griffin Barnes Beddingfield High School Club 4 4 9- 1

72 Joseph Kovatch – Wade Pritsel Hartley Hawgs 3 3 8- 3

73 Cole Sands – Caden Watson Walker Valley High School 4 3 8- 0

74 Cooper Gallant – Danny McGarry 905 HS Bass Club 2 2 7-15

75 Wyatt Burkhalter – Trace Greene Team Fast & Easy 3 3 7-11

76 Sam Milazzo – Nick Martens Maine South 3 3 7-11

77 Dustin Johnston – Trevor Brown Beulah Bass Team 3 3 7- 2

78 Brett Avery – Drake Vines Magnolia Bass Cats 3 3 6-14

79 Sean Hall – Kyler McKie North Augusta High School 2 2 6-14

80 Will Garrett – Haynes Waid Auburn Anglers 2 2 6-12

80 David Gaston – John McKinney Sylacauga Fishing 2 2 6-12

82 Joe McClosky – Morgan Winegardner Southern Garrett Bass Slayers 3 3 6-10

83 Christian King – Will Nichols Alexandria High School 3 3 6-10

84 Michael Scaggs – Derek Null Lawrence Co Hs 3 3 6- 4

85 Alex Williamson – Daniel Rodgers Windham Christian Academy 3 3 6- 2

86 Allex Conner – Jeremy Reese Central Ohio School Bass Club 3 3 6- 2

87 Tyler Lubbat – Hunter Lubbat Buffalo Grove Bass Fishing 2 0 5-13

88 Travis Frisk – Berlin High School 2 2 5- 8

89 Nick Embrey – Bryce Tucker UKV Warriors 2 2 5- 2

90 Kaleb Appling – Quintin Dorough Chelsea High School 2 2 4-15

90 Colton Fountain – Brett Herrin Kirbyville Wildcat Bassmasters 2 2 4-15

92 Kreston Richardson – Dalton Askew Buna High School 3 3 4-13

93 Liam Blake – Matthew Brien McQuad Jesuit HS 2 2 4-12

94 Jesse Heflin – Cameron Pappan Capital City HS Bass Club 2 2 4- 3

95 Brady Frank – Alec Schmidt Eastern IA HS Club 2 2 4- 3

96 Rudd Rexford – Max Bellinghiri South Burlington HS 2 2 4- 0

97 Matt Hasenfratz – Trevor Owens Ponca City HS Bass 2 2 3-14

98 Noah Pescitelli – Chris Moody Mill Creek High School 2 2 3-12

99 Nick Beers – Carter Williams Grand Haven Bassmasters 1 0 3- 8

99 Dray Davis – Brandon Lawson Union County Bass Club 1 0 3- 8

101 James Graves III – Kadin Thens Madison Anglers 2 2 3- 8

102 Damian Privat – David Spielberger Woodward Academy 2 2 3- 7

103 Bowdi Armstrong – Emily Pollard Mesilla Valley Bass Anglers 1 1 3- 7

103 Kameron Fox – Nathan Burrow Bryant-Conway HS 1 1 3- 7

105 Colton Haney – Noah Lindus BW Bassers 2 2 3- 6

106 Evan Bramhill – Teddy Peznola Mass BN High School Club 1 1 3- 6

107 Colton Harrell – Ryan Geraghty Riley’s Catch 1 1 3- 4

108 Ian Goff – Genry Ellison Jackson Co Homeschool 1 1 3- 3

109 Jonathon Wilburn – Connor Jones Guntersville High School 1 1 3- 0

110 Luke Brozovich – Canyon Kenny Minooka Anglers Club 1 1 2-14

111 Trace O’Dell – Lucas Sammons Buna High School 1 1 2-13

112 Nicholas Wiggins – Lane Possoit Natchitoches Central High School 1 1 2- 8

113 Eli Chambers – Hunter Herfurth Vinemont High School 1 1 2- 4

114 Jason Felter – Anthony Mello Idaho Trophy Bass Hunters 1 1 1-13

115 Adan Hernandez – Alexander Holquin Mesilla Valley Bass Anglers 1 1 1- 9

116 Sam Morgan – Eldon Posey Grundy Co 1 1 1- 6

117 Tanner Bruyninckx – Brad Wilson North Augusta Fishing Team 1 1 1- 2

118 Sam Barwick – Max Brandon Guntersville High School 0 0 0- 0

118 Chris Bee – Alec Lipon Hartland Eagles Bass Club 0 0 0- 0

118 Clayton Childs – Sawyer Stewart North Oconee Titans 0 0 0- 0

118 Sean Cook – Tommy Zobel Joliet Central High School 0 0 0- 0

118 Andrew Denton – Scotty Alexander Mustang HS Club 0 0 0- 0

118 Reece Eddleblute – Randy Denney Buckeye State Student Anglers 0 0 0- 0

118 Austin Eiben – Isaiah Minton Eastern IA HS Clu b 0 0 0- 0

118 Andrew Marcantel – Cole Talbot Sulphur High School 0 0 0- 0

118 Blaine Marks – Logan O’Dell Buna High School 0 0 0- 0

118 Jake Mims – Noah Rega Alexander High School 0 0 0- 0

118 Nick Montilino – Edina HS 0 0 0- 0

118 Devin Prine – Trace Crumpton Buna High School 0 0 0- 0

118 Tyler Spiers – Daniel Medvetz John Stark HS Bass Team 0 0 0- 0

118 Seth Utt – Brian Moore Eastgate Life Academy 0 0 0- 0

118 Noah Winslow – Doug Marino Nonnewaug HS 0 0 0- 0

118 Ryan Wood – Turner Mason Front Range Bass Club 0 0 0- 0

118 Trae Wright – Tripp Hodges Sylacauga HS 0 0 0- 0

Name City,State Lbs-Oz

BIG BASS

Day

1 Jeremy Bates – Joshua HoldeCnhichester, NH 6-12

2 Bailey Fain – Justin SelvidgeLENOIR CITY, TN 6- 3

3 Alex Heintze – Justin Watts DENHAM SPRINGS, LA 5-12

Day # Live Lbs-Oz # Limits

TOTALS

# Fish

1 291 276 806- 9 27

2 261 247 713- 3 28

3 53 51 169-10 7

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