DECATUR — One Meigs County Junior Fishing Team boat finished in the top 20 in the state fishing tournament recently.
The tournament was held on June 21 at Douglas Lake near Dandridge. The Meigs juniors had two teams. The first team consisted of Dexter Long and Bradley Godsey, who finished 18th out of 63 boats while Cruze Clayton was 31st out of 63 boats.
“I’m super proud of them,” Meigs Coach Jessie Long said. “This is the first time that Dexter and Bradley have caught their limit and it’s their first time fishing at Douglas. I think they did tremendous.”
Long and Godsey caught five fish weighing 7.54 pounds while Clayton caught four fish weighing 5.9 pounds.
This is the first year of existence for the Meigs fishing teams, both the junior team and the high school team. The high school has 12 squad members and the juniors squad has six. The teams all use artificial lures.
The high school team will compete in their state fishing tournament on July 9-11 at Pickwick Lake.
Long said there has been a lot of interest in the fishing team and he plans to expand the team to sixth graders next year. Long thanked the boat captains, sponsors and the community for supporting the team. He also wanted to thank some of the pro fishermen who have helped out, including Wesley Strader and Danger Kelly.
“We have learned a lot, but we are still learning,” Long said. “It’s a lot more than just baiting your hook and dropping in a line.”
For example, Long said where and how to fish is extremely dependent on the weather, which is known to change by the hour — or less — in Tennessee.
When fishing for bass, they like cool water so they will likely be nearer to shore and be active in the morning, and can usually be found closer to the surface. As the day heats up, the bass will move to the center of the lake and dive deeper to find the cooler water.
Fishing has been a learning experience, but a fun experience, Long said.
“These boys have done so good this year with it being our first year and being new to all of it,” Long said on the fishing team’s Facebook page. “It’s been a journey and learning experience to say the least. I hope all our anglers know how very proud of them we are for all they have done for this season.”