The Scottsboro BassCats fishing team will try to reel in a state championship on its home lake.
The Alabama BASS Nation High School’s 2020 state tournament is set for Friday and Saturday on Lake Guntersville out of Goose Pond Colony in Scottsboro.
It’s the second high school state tournament fished out of Goose Pond Colony this summer. The Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association held its 2020 state tournament there last month.
The Alabama BASS Nation High School’s state tournament is a two-day tournament that features a three-fish limit each day.
Scottsboro head coach Cully Nelson said staying competitive in a two-day tournament will require mental toughness from his anglers.
“The two-day tournament becomes a serious mental game, especially if you have a tough day on Friday. It makes Saturday a grind. If you add in the heat, you are looking at two tough days of fishing and added stress on the captains as well,” Nelson said. “The biggest battle right now is the heat. I believe that big fish will be caught. You typically don't catch a lot of fish this time of year and patience and focus become a huge factor.”
Knowing Lake Guntersville as well as Scottsboro anglers do can be both “a blessing and a curse,” Nelson said, but added that fishing near home “may help even more with (the tournament) being a two-day deal. It may seem like a little thing, but when you get to sleep in your bed and be on your regular schedule, that is going to help in a two-day event.”
Scottsboro’s angler duos are Connor McLaughlin and Barclay Butler, Tanner Barclay and AJ Widgeon, Kolby Clark and Landon Grider, Grant West and Cameron Thompson, Drake Anderson and Greyson Widgeon, Wynn Reed and Carter Cooper, Matt Croft and Eli Mason and Karston Renfroe and Sawyer Evans.
Because of restrictions to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, spectators will not be allowed at morning blast-offs or afternoon weigh-ins. The weigh-ins, which start each day at 1 p.m., and Saturday’s 5 p.m. awards ceremony will be broadcast on Facebook Live on the Alabama BASS Nation High School Facebook page.
Scottsboro’s McLaughlin and Butler have already qualified for the BASS Nation High School National Tournament, which is scheduled for October. Nelson said the BassCats could have up to three more angler duos qualify for nationals with good outings this weekend.
“We would love to have one or even two more boats (angler duos) to (qualify), but even three more (angler duos qualifying) would not be unrealistic with what some of our guys are capable of,” Nelson said. “We have great captains that have done a tremendous job of helping these young men learn so much about fishing.”