Tennessee Team Wins High School Classic

Matthew Vandagriff and Asa Robertson relied on tactics that work for them back home in middle Tennessee to win the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Classic presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors held Saturday on Alabama’s Lay Lake.

Vandagriff and Robertson, seniors at Warren County High School in McMinnville, caught a five-bass limit that weighed 13 pounds, 15 ounces to outfish the runner-up team by 9 ounces.

After a slow practice, the Warren County anglers were unsure how they would spend the tournament day.

“At 10 o’ clock we didn’t have a fish in the livewell,” said Vandagriff. “We had tried just about everything and nothing worked.”

Except for a Rapala DT6 crankbait. The 2-inch, 3/8-ounce lure is designed specifically to run about 6 feet deep. The lure was an ideal choice because it matched the strike zone where they had greatest success.

“We tied it on and immediately started catching keepers,” said Robertson.

They focused on secondary points in 3 to 5 feet of water.

“That’s what we do this time of the year back home in Tennessee,” added Robertson. “So, there was no reason not to do it.”

Riley Underwood and Chandler Holt of Briarwood Christian School took second with 13-6. The team from Birmingham found success using a shaky head rig in shallow water.

Andon Goins and Blake Wheat, fishing for Tennessee’s Rhea County High School, finished third with 13-5. Fourth place went to Caz Anderson and Griffin Hopkins of Chatuge High School with 9-13.

Teams weighed in at Legacy Arena prior to the Saturday weigh-in of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.

Competing were the top high school teams from the 2019 season, and the Top 2 teams from the series event on Smith Lake held March 1.

The tournament was hosted by Discover Shelby County.