Skip to main content Skip to main content

Colorado Team Wins Bassmaster High School Championship

Young anglers from Colorado found redemption as the winners of the Costa Bassmaster High School Championship

Colorado Team Wins Bassmaster High School Championship
Colorado Team Wins Bassmaster High School Championship

PARIS, Tenn. — Redemption. That sums up the week on Kentucky Lake for Turner Mason and Ryan Wood, winners of the Costa Bassmaster High School Championship.

Last year the teenage anglers from Colorado fished this very event and failed to catch a single keeper bass all week. Today, they capped an amazing week of fishing by winning the tournament with 49 pounds, 4 ounces.

Wood and Mason represented the Front Range Bass Club while enrolled at Legacy High School. Wood, a former B.A.S.S. youth state and national champion, was a member of the 2016 Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team.

Ethan Stone and Nolan Minor, fishing for Orange County High School in Virginia, took second with 48-6. Dailus Richardson and Trevor McKinney of Benton County High School in Illinois finished third with 46-5. Fourth were Ean Davis and Grayson Hanson of Pell City High School in Alabama with 45-15. Austin Hamner and Aaron Reed of Northside High School in Alabama took fifth with 45-12.


The winning game plan for Mason and Wood was conceived on the cross-country drive from their homes in Broomfield, Col.


“We fished deep last year and didn’t have the confidence in doing it again,” said Wood, 18, who will attend Dallas Baptist University and join its bass fishing team.”

“We all are jerkbait junkies and use the lure a lot for all species back in Colorado,” added Chad LaChance, team coach and host of Fishful Thinker on World Fishing Network.

“On the drive over we decided to somehow make it work since we have so much confidence in the jerkbait,” said Mason, 18, who will fish for the Colorado State University bass fishing team beginning this fall.

The jerkbait plan got validated upon arrival at Kentucky Lake. During practice the team caught fish of all species on the sub-topwater lure, just like back home, and plenty of quality largemouth and smallmouth.




“It worked from one end of the lake to the other, at least where we fished,” added Wood. “We could do no wrong and it was obvious all the various species were moving into shallow water to feed.”

In summer on Kentucky Lake bass fishermen rarely use the floating jerkbait. That is because the largemouth and smallmouth inhabit deeper, cooler water along the main river channel. They stay all summer long and feed on large schools of shad. Deep diving crankbaits are the top producers this time of year.

Mason and Wood discovered the bass moved into coves adjacent to the deep water to feed on baitfish. Even in shallow water the bass had a quick, short trip back to deeper water. Fish of all species came to feed, spending time to do little else, before darting back to deep water.


On average, they caught fish so shallow the boat created a mud line behind them. The presentation was equally as unusual. Mason and Wood snapped the rod tip and retrieved the lure as quickly as possible.

They used 5-inch floating jerkbaits in chrome for sunny skies and white under cloudy conditions. The lure was tied to 15-pound Stren braid with a 20-pound monofilament leader to prevent the lure from getting tangled. A 6-foot, 8-inch St. Croix Legend Elite Spinning Rod and Pflueger Patriarch spinning reel completed the tackle.

“We know it is unusual to catch bass in 90 degree water this time of year, on this lake, and in just a few inches of water,” said Mason. “But we had to give it a try.”

Redemption came early and quick. The team landed a limit weighing 14-10 by 7:30 a.m. on Thursday. They moved from 19th place into fourth on Friday with a limit weighing 17-15. The final effort produced a catch weighing 16-11 to seal the win.

Northside led the tournament on Thursday and then dropped to second the following day. They never recovered from missed opportunities. Fishing pressure from a weekend tournament hurt, too, today.

“We just didn’t execute well and had a lot of boats on our areas,” said Hamner.

The team focused on the typical summertime pattern of fishing the offshore ledges with deep running crankbaits.

Cap Massey, 14, of Animas, N.M., caught the big bass of the day weighing 8-5. He caught the largemouth on a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper soft plastic lure. The strike occurred as the lure was slowly dragged along the bottom near a dropoff in 7 feet of water.

The tournament began with 348 anglers representing 175 high schools from across the nation and Ontario. The field was cut to the Top 12 on Day 3 with the weigh-in held on the downtown square in Paris, Tenn.

Teams were awarded $70,250 in scholarship funds. B.A.S.S. contributed $21,000 and sponsors are provided $9,250. Bethel University provided the remaining $40,000. Triton Boats gave an additional $500 scholarship to each angler through sixth place.

Click here for complete event results.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

On the Range

On the Range

We've spent lots of time discussing the features of the Lupo and how they benefit hunters. Now, on episode 11 of Beyond the Rifle, it's time to put these features to use on the range. We realize not everyone can shoot a Lupo today, so we hope this episode gives hunters a good idea of the kind of performance they can expect from this rifle.

Crash Course: When and How to Throw Spinnerbaits for Bass

Crash Course: When and How to Throw Spinnerbaits for Bass

The old-school spinnerbait will put bass in the boat during these three scenarios.

Crash Course: How to Choose the Right Crankbait for Bass

Crash Course: How to Choose the Right Crankbait for Bass

You have lots of options in a shallow crankbait, but don't overlook the No. 1 important thing.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now