Angling for a title

Bass fishing team competes at state this weekend


Courtesy of Ryder Cunningham

Ryder Cunningham and his partner Mason McClellan show off their biggest catches at region.

Noah Autry, Sports Writer

“The fish don’t care about COVID-19, so they still bite.” 

While most sports consist of a student vs. another student, a bass fisherman’s only opponent is the fish in the water, and the fish don’t wear masks.

The team did good at regionals despite the challenges they were approached with and were able to qualify most of the teams for state.

“The team gave it a good shot at regionals, the weather was terrible on prefish day and we didn’t get to fish for very long so most teams went into tournament day blind,” sophomore Ryder Cunningham said. “Most teams managed to catch fish even though we had tough conditions.”

“We took 10 teams, and five of the 10 teams advanced to state,”head coach Jason Pape said.“It started with 1500 teams and you’re only the last few 100 at state”.

The state tournament will work a little differently that the previous tournaments this season.

“It’s a little different just because it’s a two day tournament, all the other tournaments are one day,” Pape said.

Other than that all the same rules apply for the state tournament as any other tournament.

“You go out to a lake, and you fish all day and at the end of the time period you take your biggest five bass and put them on a scale, and whoever has the largest weight wins”, senior Grady King said.

The team is making sure they are prepared and ready for state.

“We have a meeting before the tournament and we have a precise day that we go and try to locate and figure out how to catch fish,” junior Mason McClellan said.

The team is ready to perform at state for the first time for Smithson Valley.

“The team is excited, I think anytime that you have the opportunity to go fish and represent your school, and that’s what you do, I think that’s our passion, and what better way to show your passion and how good you are at something by competing at the state level,” Pape said.

“I feel like the team has a good chance to show out at state, Lake Texoma has a lot of potential,” Cunningham said. 

Win or lose, the bass fishing team has shown what they are all about with their first season with their performances at tournaments and at regionals.