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Phil Lilley
Phil Lilley

National Youth Fishing Tournament

I had the honor today to captain a couple of Jr High boys from Springfield in the aforementioned tournament today on Table Rock.  I had William and Sam Kuzemka in my boat.  We launched out of State Park, first cast at 6:35 a.m. on the first point NW of the ramp close to the Branson Belle.

They started out throwing a swim bait (grub) but I quickly switched them to a ned and it was on.  They fished my smallmouth banks in Jakes, Powerline and Clevenger Coves... all the ones I could remember.  I don't think I got over there any last spring so I was going off my long-time memory.

Set the boat in 16-20 feet most of the time until the fog burned off about 10 a.m., then we backed out to 30 feet.  I had them fish the bottom although every 3rd or 4th cast came back with the green slime.

They had about 13 keepers, all smallies expect one spot.  We culled a couple of 16-inchers and had one kicker brown about 3.5 pounds.  All bass except the spot appeared to have spawned - they had no pouches at all.... but what do I know, I'm a trout guy.  Had may be the same number of shots plus 3-4 nice gogs (which I'm going back for this week!!).

The boys weighed in at 13.58 and took 2nd out of 60 teams.

260 teams in the high school division... weigh in at White Water.  Needless to say there was a traffic jam getting into the lot, which was basically full when I left at the beginning of the High School weigh in period.  I hope they pulled it together cause .... well you know.

Ulrich was there with 2 pontoons/tanks for the catches.  Babler said they do a good job keeping them alive and back in the lake.

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