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By Steve McCadams

Several young bass anglers from across the country will test the waters of Kentucky Lake later this week in a special event geared just for them. Odds are most have dreams of pursuing bass fishing on a larger scale as to their future fishing aspirations.

Unfortunately, Henry County has no program offering young anglers to participate in the growing competition at the high school level. Several colleges have programs that have done well and a few high schools across the region are beginning to participate.

Here’s the scoop on the upcoming tournament details from the Bassmaster organization:

The 2016 Bassmaster High School Championship will return to Kentucky Lake out of Paris Landing State Park., Aug. 4-6, in conjunction with the Junior Bassmaster Championship held on Carroll County 1000 Acre Recreational Lake, Aug. 2-3.
“Returning to Kentucky Lake for the third straight year was a very easy decision,” said Hank Weldon, B.A.S.S. High School Series tournament manager. “From the hosts, to the fishery and facilities, it is very hard to find a more ideal place than Paris and Huntingdon, Tenn.”
After the largest Bassmaster High School Open field in history — a total of 322 boats — weighed in on Lake Guntersville April 16, Weldon expects the championship to be even larger than it was in 2015. One place at the championship is made available for every 10 teams competing in the Opens.
The week’s events will be hosted by three organizations very familiar with tournament fishing — Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, Paris-Henry County Alliance and Bethel University.
“After such successful past events, we are even more excited to once again be working with our great partners at B.A.S.S., Henry County Alliance and Bethel University to bring the 2016 Costa Bassmaster High School Championship back to North West Tennessee,” said Brad Hurley, president of Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.
Festivities begin Monday at Bethel University with a kick-off dinner and guest speaker. This is the third year in a row that the national championship will be held on Kentucky Lake.
“We are thrilled to host the Costa Bassmaster High School Championship at Paris Landing on beautiful Kentucky Lake,” said David Hamilton, CEO of the Henry County Alliance. “Kentucky Lake is one of the top lakes for bass fishing, and we’re proud to be able to showcase this fishery and what it has to offer the national championship contenders.”
The full field will compete on Days 1 and 2 with the weigh-ins at Paris Lake State Park, after which the field will be cut to the Top 12.
On Aug. 6, the Top 12 teams will compete on Kentucky Lake to crown the 2016 high school national champions. The final day championship weigh-in will be held in downtown Paris, Tenn.
The Junior Bassmaster Championship — a youth competition in its second year — will follow a team format. The event will be comprised of teams grades second through eighth from each state within the three B.A.S.S. Nation regions.
“In 2015, we launched a pilot Junior Championship that had 26 participating states,” said Weldon. “Continuing the championship this year, we expect this number to rise exponentially. The Carroll County 1000 Acre Recreational Lake is a perfect size lake packed with a bunch of bass for the Juniors to catch while maybe catching a lake record bass like we saw last year.”
Competitors will compete on Carroll County 1000 Acre Recreational Lake. The Junior Championship anglers will weigh their bass in downtown Huntingdon.
For more information on how to get involved in the B.A.S.S. High School Nation or the Junior Bassmaster Championship, visit




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