Wolverine Fishing Team Looks to Defend Last Year’s Team Title
By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Writer
Woodruff angling duo Micah Horton and Lake Smith reeled in a major tournament championship on Sunday Aug. 23 on Lake Hartwell, with the duo competing in and winning the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster Junior Series event.
Horton and Smith caught their limit early, with upgrades made throughout the day, and weighed in a winning bag of 7 pounds, 4 ounces.
“It feels good to win,” said Horton, a freshman at Woodruff High School. “We fish (Lake Hartwell) a lot. It was tough but we thought we could get a limit at least.”
Horton and Smith began the day by testing their luck on a rocky drop-off in the Seneca River portion of the lake, in about 15 feet of water, before heading to shallow water around mid-day.
Both anglers employed a variety of baits, including blue crank baits and green pumpkin jigs before turning to frog lures and buzzbaits in the shallower areas.
Smith landed the largest fish of the day, a largemouth bass weighing 3 ¼ pounds, during the afternoon which provided the boost needed for the pair to bring home the tournament championship.
That largest fish was a near-miss, acknowledged Smith.
“We pulled up and on the first cast it blew up and missed the bait,” said Smith, an eighth grader at Woodruff Middle School. “He hit it the second time, though.”
Woodruff fishing team coach Ricky Edmonds added that he has been amazed to watch the success of Horton and Smith as a tandem, saying that the two have only recently begun angling together.
“Micah and Lake were put together in June and had never fished together before,” Edmonds said. “We put those boys together and they have won everything in town. They have won three tournaments on the junior (Bassmaster) series and came in second place on Lake Wylie. Their future is very bright.”
With the Mossy Oaks victory, Horton and Smith earned the right to compete in the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster Junior Series National Championships to be held in Carroll Co. Tennessee on October 19-20.
Edmonds also gave credit to Horton’s and Smith’s boat captain, Lake’s dad Kerry Smith, for the quick success experienced by the young anglers.
“They have a really good boat captain,” said Edmonds. “Kerry has been great and has really helped out a lot.”
The Woodruff High School fishing team began its season on Sept. 26. Edmonds said the team is fishing an all-new trail this year, including a South Carolina Bassmaster National Youth Series event. The Wolverines won the South Carolina public school championship last season for competitive angling and Edmonds sees no reason why Woodruff cannot earn a repeat.
“The future is bright for Woodruff High School fishing,” he said.
He also believes that Horton and Smith are going to bring home some hardware from Tennessee.
“I have no doubt they are going to win,” he added. “I’m excited to see the outcome.”