OSHKOSH, Wisc. The Northern Divisional representatives to November's Junior Bassmaster and CastingKids championships were named today at Lake Winnebago.
Indiana's Jacob Wheeler and Ross Lemens of Wisconsin took the honors in the Junior Bassmaster Northern Divisionals, but their on-the-water experiences were much different.
Whereas 17-year-old Wheeler caught keeper fish all day to build a five-fish stringer weighing 13 pounds, 6 ounces, Lemens had to persevere without a bass in the livewell until the last hour of the day.
Once on a school of feeding smallmouth, the 11 year old quickly boated four chunky bass to claim the win with 11 pounds, 4 ounces.
"It was hard because you've got to stay confident," Lemens said. "It means a lot (to win the divisional) because I'm the only one in my family that bass fishes."
In the CastingKids divisional, Ohio's Riley Yon and Nathan Hiser rose above the field to advance to November's national championship.
Yon claimed the 11 to 14-year-old title with an overall score of 130 out of a possible 150, while Hiser won the 7 to 10-year-old division in a sudden-death castoff after tying Illinois' Carl Michalek with 120 points.
The JWC and CastingKids championships will be held in conjunction with the BASS Federation Nation National Championship, which will be held Nov. 3-8 at Kansas' Milford Lake.