Assumption fishing team hooks B.A.S.S. High School National State Championship

Kelly McElroy
Special to The Courier

The combination of fishing local waterways and reeling in some lunkers on the event’s final day led to a B.A.S.S. High School National State Championship for Assumption.

The Mustangs, fishing nearby Lake Verret and parts of the Atchafalaya Basin, overcame a slow start on Day 1 with a big  Day 2 to defeat 44 other teams on May 9 with a total weight of 73 pounds, 11 ounces.

Each team had up to four boats consisting of two anglers per boat with the top three boats from each school scoring.

After Day 1, Assumption was 15th, 38th, 46th and 53rd but finished fifth (Alexander Blanchard and Noah Deshotel), eighth (Braden Pujol and Ty Milazzo), 19th (Hannah Deshotel and John Paul Brown) and 44th (Katie Michel and Hayden Strubb) in the final standings.

Assumption's bass fishing team poses after winning the B.A.S.S. High School National State Championship on May 9.

The Mustangs targeted big fish on Day 2 with top water baits and it worked to perfection. The five biggest fish of the weekend per team were weighed.

“We knew the big fish were there,” Blanchard said. “We knew we just had to keep grinding all day and we got the biggest bag of the tournament (18.15 pounds).”

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Assumption coach Leroy Blanchard said while fishing local waters helped the Mustangs, Day 2's performance was the difference.

“It was somewhat of an advantage because it’s the waters all of our kids grew up fishing,” Leroy Blanchard said. “We were able to scout the week leading up to the tournament without the travel expenses. The kids showed a lot of focus and determination. We caught three monster bags on Sunday to leapfrog many of the other teams competing. They stuck to their game plan.”

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With only one junior and the rest sophomores and freshmen taking the title, Leroy Blanchard said the good things might just be starting for the Mustangs.

“We have a young club,” Leroy Blanchard said. “All these kids were either freshmen or sophomores and we have one junior. The future is bright.”