The Lenoir City High School Bass Club competed Saturday in the Brandon Card College and High School Open on Norris Lake.
Four teams from LCHS fished the tournament, with three placing in the top 25 out of 45 teams.
Mikenny Snoblen and Mason Waldrop had the best performance of the day with a sixth-place finish, including netting a 5.12-pound largemouth bass for big fish.
“It was a thrill because we’ve been struggling and catching that fish, we knew we had something special,” Snoblen said.
“Catching a 5-pounder on Norris isn’t very heard of, so when we caught that fish, we knew we were going to be in the running. We grinded out the day to catch a few more. We couldn’t put it all together. We made the long haul all the way up there, so it definitely paid off.”
Sixth is one of the best finishes from the duo.
“It’s very tough, especially this time of year,” Snoblen said. “A lot of the smallmouth are deeper. If you catch a largemouth, you’re going to be stuck to cover, especially with the weather changing, they’re going be very finicky to biting. Catching anything over 3 (pounds) is really a big deal. Yeah, it’s probably one of the better tournaments we’ve had for sure. It’s a confidence booster in the sense that it takes one catch, and you’ve just got to grind out the day and figure out what the next move is. If we can remember, ‘Oh, well this one cast, if we move here and do this, we can put something together’.”
Dalton Bailey and Hayden Stockett finished 20th, while Brent Key and Hunter Canova came in 24th.
“It was tough on all the high school teams that fished,” Allen Woods, Bass Club head coach, said. “I think there was a total of 26 teams out of 40 that weighed in fish, so it was tough on everybody. For them to bring those one and two fish in and finish as high as they did, that just shows how tough the day was on everybody.”
Woods believes the team could have a breakout second half starting in February.
“My thing for the team is to have multiple teams finish toward the top, and that shows that we are as a team, as opposed to one person finishing high all the time and everybody else finishing at the bottom,” he said. “I think we’ve gone in that aspect of it. Coming up in the 2020 season, their first tournament will be Feb. 8 on Watts Bar, it’ll be a Southeast Region tournament. They get a little break in the winter, they can dial in their tackle and do some research and some studying. I think they’ll prepare pretty good.”