The Olathe East Hawks fishing team is looking pretty solid so far in this early Kansas BASS Nation high school season.
Just a week after Tyler Kendrick and Ian Bellomo won the Sept. 26 high school season opener on Perry Reservoir with 11.86 pounds, fellow Hawks Wyatt Peterson and Miguel Cooper posted a win Oct. 3 on Melvern Reservoir, weighing another 10-plus pound bag for the victory in a record-setting field of 46 boats.
"We caught our fish throwing jigs on main lake points and channel banks around the larger creeks in the mid-lake area," Peterson said. "The fish were relating to chunk rock and our keeper bites were caught in seven feet of water or less. Our first keeper did not get in the boat until about 11:30 and our fourth was caught before 1:30, it was a real struggle all day. We are very fortunate that we were able to form a pattern and come out on top in this large field of talented anglers and to represent Olathe East High School.
"We also want to thank (KBN youth director) Mr. Travis Burch and his entire staff for all that they do."
Peterson and Cooper’s 10.37-pound bag beat second-place Cale Harlan and Derek Landis, of Kickback Club, by more than two pounds (8.04 pounds). Buhler’s Nathan Fideldy and Preston Gover, last year’s KBN high school Angler Team of the Year, finished third with 5.12 pounds, followed by MHK’s Tyler Bean and Tucker Dobbs in fourth with 4.99 pounds. Kickback Club’s Peyton Fore and Sam Myers rounded out the top five with 4.52 pounds.
The big-fish award went to Kickback’s Harrison Roth and Mason Suderman with a 3.71-pounder, with two other teams — Louisburg’s Will Hutsell and Jackson Olson (3.49) and Buhler’s Fideldy and Gover (3.24), trailing by less than a half-pound.
In the youth division, Louisburg’s Lucas Sheafer and Steele Smith (7.66 pounds) continued their dominant state title defense on Oct. 4 at Melvern, winning their third tournament in a row dating back to last year’s championship tournament — a whopping four weeks earlier, thanks to COVID-19 delays.
Sheafer and Smith also posted the big fish of the day for the youths at 4.11 pounds in the near-record field of 25 boats. Their Louisburg teammates, Bryce Collins and Hayden Smith, finished second with 4.81 pounds, followed by Kickback’s Landon Staines and Weston Barkley (2.91). Circle’s William Wolf and Hunter Cowman (2.58) and Bobcat Bass’ Cale Denney and Jonas Lawler White (2.46) rounded out the top five. Legacy Christian’s Carter Goad and Gage Mains were the only other youth anglers to weigh a fish, finishing sixth with 2.35 pounds.
Wheeler, Smithson win KBN state team qualifier
Whitewater's Rick Wheeler and El Dorado's Reggie Smithson were among eight anglers to qualify for the 2021 Kansas BASS Nation state team after securing victories in the boaters and nonboaters divisions, respectively, during the second qualifier tournament Sept. 19-20 at Wilson Reservoir.
The top four boaters and top four non-boaters from the tournament will be joined on the Kansas delegation by the top four placers from each division from the first leg of the qualifiers June 27-28 at Grand Lake in Oklahoma, along with the top two placers in each division from the Mr. Bass tournament at Melvern Reservoir.
Other boaters to secure a spot at Wilson were Lindsborg’s Jason Baird, Topeka’s Josh Pladies and Hays’ Klint VonFeldt, with nonboaters Cody Paxton, of Oak Grove, Mo.; Clayton Rudman, of Victoria, and Jeremy Jackson, of El Dorado, also clinching spots.
Read complete coverage of that qualifier event at https://tinyurl.com/y26frgw6/.
The team will compete during next year’s BASS Central Regional, the date and location of which have yet to be announced, with a chance to earn a spot in the 2021 BASS Nation Championship.
The Kansas BASS state team qualifiers also include Augusta’s Kenny Turpin, Oklahoma’s Chris Torkelson, Wichita’s Matt Mesplay, Missouri’s Nick Luna, Hays native Branden Garrison and Leavenworth’s Larry Stoafer on the boater side. On the nonboater side, the additional qualifiers are Buhler High School's Nathan Fideldy, Kansas City, Kan., resident Richard Kiblinger, Hutchinson’s Justin Harris, Berryton’s Mike Turner and Oklahoma residents Lee Roberts, of Shattuck, and Kyle Torkelson, of Sand Springs.
This year’s state team was in action this week on Toledo Bend. For complete results, check back next week.
KBN hosts first-ever state kayak championship
The KBN also hosted its first-ever State Kayak Championship on Oct. 4 at Big Hill Lake in southeast Kansas, with Nathan Henthorn pulling out the victory and a $210 payday.
With the win, Henthorn will qualify for the Huk Bassmaster BASS Nation Kayak Series Championship, which will be held in conjunction with the 2021 Bassmaster Classic. Joining him will be four other qualifiers from the state championship: runner-up Ryan Brooke, third-place finisher Richard Mellard, fourth-place finisher Jacob Ward and fifth-place finisher Dakota Payne.
Mellard also took home Big Bass honors with a 21.5-inch largemouth, earning a $410 award.
Butler County Times sports editor Charles Chaney contributed to this report.