T.L. HANNA HIGH SCHOOL WINS 2015 HIGH SCHOOL FISHING WORLD FINALS ON PICKWICK LAKE
FLORENCE, Ala. (July 14, 2015) – The T.L. Hanna High School team of Derek Freeman and Trevor Callaham from Anderson, South Carolina, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 20 pounds, 2 ounces, to win the final round of the 2015 TBF/FLW High School Fishing World Finals on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama. The win earned the team earned more than $20,000 in college scholarships, prizes and Cabela’s gift cards with their win. The college scholarships totaled $18,000 – $8,000 to any school of their choice, as well as an additional $10,000 if they choose to attend Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee.
“This is a true blessing,” said Callaham, a recent graduate who will be attending Tri-County Technical College in Anderson this fall. “”I couldn’t ask for anything else.”
Open to all students participating in the TBF/FLW Student Angler Federation’s High School Fishing program, the World Finals is the largest open championship in the nation. The entire field of 166 teams competed head-to-head on days one and two, after which the top two teams from each state advanced to square off in the semi-final round, where weights were zeroed. All other teams battled in a consolation round.
The top 10 teams from the semi-finals and the top 10 from the consolation round moved forward to the finals on day four. In addition, a special last-chance drawing gave one lucky team a golden ticket to the finals.
Freeman and Callaham weighed five bass for 17 pounds, 12 ounces on day one, landing in 7th overall. A 15-pound, 8-ounce day-two limit propelled them to the semi-finals with a 33-pound, 4-ounce total, good for 6th place. They qualified for the finals on day three with a 15-pound, 9-ounce limit that put them in 8th place overall and advanced them to the final day.
In the final round, they turned in their best showing of the tournament with a 20-pound, 2-ounce limit – anchored by a 7-pound, 5-ounce behemoth. Throughout the event, the South Carolina duo weighed all largemouths, despite Pickwick’s propensity to produce nice smallmouth and spotted bass. Their winning pattern focused on main-lake ledges primarily in 14 to 23 feet of water.
“After hitting it hard on day one, we managed our spots on days two and three, and then swung for the fences in the finals,” said Freeman, a recent graduate who plans to attend Clemson University this fall. “All but one of the ledges were on the river channel.”
Top baits for competitors throughout the week included deep-diving crankbaits, hairjigs, drop-shot rigs and shaky-head rigs.
The top 10 final-day high school teams on Pickwick Lake were:
1st: T.L. Hanna High School, S.C. – Derek Freeman and Trevor Callaham, five bass, 20-2
2nd: Saltillo High School/Tupelo High School, Miss. – Ty Cox and Jacob Houston, five bass, 19-5
3rd: Hartselle High School, Ala. – Ross Napier and Collin Reeves, five bass, 19-4
4th: Hardin County High School, Tenn. – Cole Walker and Cort Walker, five bass, 18-8
5th: Illinois Student Angler Federation – Ryan Spencer and Nathan Doty, five bass, 18-4
6th: Calloway County High School, Ky. – Brandon Bogard and Colton Jennings, five bass, 18-0
7th: River Valley High School, Ark. – Josh Dugger and Jake Dugger, five bass, 17-9
8th: Arkansas Student Angler Federation – Jacob English and Chris Hildreth Jr., five bass, 16-9
9th: Hayden High School, Ala. – Taylor Ashley and Chase Kanute, five bass, 16-4
10th: Russellville High School, Ala. – Dylan Hatton and Caleb Mays, five bass, 15-13
Complete results and photos can be found at HighSchoolFishing.org.
The 2015 TBF/FLW High School Fishing World Finals was a two-person (team) event for students in grades 9-12. Designed to give young anglers and their families an all-encompassing, fun-filled experience, the World Finals also included a pizza party, a live music concert and catfish banquet – courtesy of the Alabama Cooperative Extension office and the Catfish Growers Association of Alabama – plus a multi-species fishing tournament on day four for all teams who did not make it into the finals.
All High School Fishing anglers nationwide automatically qualify for the world’s largest high school bass tournament, the 2016 High School Fishing World Finals. At the 2015 World Finals more than $20,000 in scholarships and prizes were awarded. Visit HighSchoolFishing.org for details.