GAINESVILLE -- North Forsyth showed again over the weekend that its anglers are kings of Lanier, as the Raiders claimed their second straight state high school fishing championship at Laurel Park in Gainesville.
Cole Cloud And Ronnie Warsop netted the championship with a five-bass haul of 17 pounds, 13 ounces to beat out second place Dawson County by more than a pound.
"We figured that we had around 15 pounds, but we didn't know if that was going to be good enough," Cloud said.
"We are really proud of not just Cole and Ronnie but all the kids in the program," Raiders fishing coach Scott Beard said. "The kids put in a lot of time on the water and practice a lot. It's amazing how fast this sport has grown in the past few years and our club has grown with it. We have great support from all of our sponsors, especially Hammonds fishing center and all our boat captains that generously take time to fish with our kids."
Cloud and Warsop employed jerkbaits and carolina rigs on the main lake to snag their trophy-winning haul. The biggest catch of the day (4 pounds, 11 ounces) was landed with a Spro McStick in Blue Bandit color.
"We used a jerkbait early in the morning to get things started, then switched to a Carolina rig to try and catch some bigger fish later in the day," Warsop said. "We ended up culling four different times, but we still weren't sure if we had enough weight to win."
Dawson County's Tristan Melton and Cameron Hudson finished second with five bass weighing in at 16-3, while West Forsyth's Matthew Jones and Eli Huggins took third courtesy five bass weighing 15-11.
North Forsyth's Branson Marks and Luke Slaton also took fourth catch 14 pounds, 7 ounces worth of bass on jerkbaits and swimbaits off of brush piles.
"I am pleased with how hard our fishing program has worked this past year; we hosted several qualifier tournaments and warm up tournaments and had a wonderful turnout," North Forsyth athletic director Nathan Turner said. "Coach Scott Beard does a great job getting our guys ready, and this is a tribute to all of the hard work by coach Beard and the guys on the fishing team."
North Forsyth also two more teams in the top 20, including Jerrett Paige and Payton Holbrooks in 15th (11pounds, 3 ounces) and Chip Harper and Jesse Phillips in 20th (9 pounds, 15 ounces).
The 2014 Georgia State High School Fishing Championship was a two-person (team) event for students in grades 9-12. The top 10 percent from each TBF/FLW state championship field qualified for a conference championship along with the top three teams from each of the six 2014 High School Fishing Opens that coincide with the 2014 Walmart FLW Tour. The top 10 percent of each conference championship field will then advance to the High School Fishing National Championship, coinciding with the TBF National Championship and an FLW Tour stop in the spring of 2015. The High School Fishing national champions will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship to the school of their choice.
In addition to the High School Fishing National Championship, all SAF members nationwide automatically qualify for the world's largest high school bass tournament, the 2014 High School Fishing World Finals, held on Lake Dardanelle in Russelville, Ark., on July 15-19. At the 2013 World Finals more than $40,000 in scholarships and prizes were awarded.