Big day for Callaway anglers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They embarked on a new season in style.
Callaway High’s Houston Gaddy and Nathan Odom, competing in the Georgia BASS Nation High School tournament last weekend on West Point Lake, earned a top-10 finish while competing against a field that included 167 two-person teams.
Gaddy and Odom weighed three fish for a total of 6.46 pounds, and that was good enough for a ninth-place finish.
The high finish guaranteed Gaddy and Odom a spot in the state tournament while also giving them the satisfaction of gettig it done on their home lake.
Brandon Martin and Caleb Tanner of North Hall High finished first with three fish weighing 10.61 pounds.
“Everybody thinks you come out and have fun, but it’s more stressful when it’s here, because everybody expects so much from you because it’s in your backyard,” Gaddy said. “You’re expected to catch them. It’s stressful, but it’s fun.”
The tournament served as the kickoff for the Georgia BASS National High School 2019-2020 season.
There are eight tournaments, including the state tournament at Lake Eufaula in May.
The field for last weekend’s tournament was the largest in the history of the tour.
“It’s going nowhere but up,” Gaddy said. “It’s getting bigger and bigger. We set a record this year. So that’s something.”
The tournament began at sun-up, with competitors in the high-school and junior divisions launching from Pyne Road Park.
The weigh-in, also at Pyne Road Park, began at 2 p.m., and a few hours later the top finishers were announced in both divisions.
Callaway, LaGrange High and Troup High all had teams competing.
After Gaddy and Odom weighed their fish, they had no wait around to see where they’d finish, hopeful they’d done enough to place in the top 17 which would qualify them for state.
“I never think I’ve got enough,” Gaddy said. “(Odom) thought we did, and I thought we didn’t. It was close.”
Another Callaway team, Caden McMillian and Cole Wright, also had a strong showing, finishing 24th with three fish weighing 4.48 pounds.
Also for Callaway, Kayden Arndt and Ryan Cooley finished 82nd, with their one fish weighing 1.71 pounds.
Troup’s top team was Trayton Gay and Drake Reeves, who weighed in one fish for 1.55 pounds and placed 93rd.
For LaGrange, Corey Hyatt and Cason Blackburn was 98th with one fish weighing 1.42 pounds.
Also competing were Troup’s Hunter Browning and Bryson Williams, and Troup’s Zane Prickett and Lane Christie.
In the junior division, Carter Chastain and James Collins of Pickens County took top honors with three fish weighing 5.24 pounds.
Competing for Callaway Middle School were the teams of Jackson Adams and Dawson Foster, and Drake Bishop and Kaleb Garrett.
The next competition on the tour will be on Oct. 12 at Lake Lanier.