Mortimer Jordan duo wins high school bass tournament on Pickwick Lake


While many Pickwick Lake anglers were catching smallmouth bass around Wilson Dam, Aaron Stephens and his teammate Daniel Meadows opted to go in a different direction during an April 21 Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association tournament.

The gamble paid off in a big way for the duo from Mortimer Jordan High School in Kimberly. They won the tournament by catching five largemouth bass that weighed 21.06 pounds. Garrett Bates and Darren Ledbetter of Pelham Panthers Bass Fishing clinched second place with an 18.91 pounds catch.

The tournament, which was hosted by Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau, attracted almost 500 anglers from 52 schools throughout Alabama. The students fished in boats piloted by an adult who did not fish.

Stephens said he and Meadows found numerous largemouth bass in deep water down river from Sheffield. The tournament launched from Riverfront Park and the weigh-in was held in downtown Sheffield.

“We were drifting jigs offshore,” Stephens said. “We had the area where we were fishing pretty much to ourselves all day.”

Meadows said he and Stephens caught about 30 bass, but kept only the five largest for the weigh-in. “We had a good day.”

Stephens and Meadows each won a $1,000 college scholarship and other prizes.

Micah Goosby of Westbrook Christian School in Rainbow City, also found fishing success down river. The one bass he caught, that was large enough to keep, was a whopper. His 7.91 pounds largemouth bass was the largest fish weighed-in during the tournament. Goosby said he caught the huge bass while fishing with a tube jig along a bluff wall. He said it is the largest bass he ever caught.

Susann Hamlin, President and CEO of Colbert County Tourism, said more than 1,000 anglers, boat captains, family members, friends and tournament officials were in Sheffield for the tournament. She estimated its economic impact at around $2 million.

Hamlin said economic benefits from hosting the tournament will be long lasting. “The students caught some big bass. They are going to want to come back to fish for fun. They are going to tell their friends about our lakes and they are also going to want to come here to fish. Their families found attractions and stores while they were here that they are going to want to come back and visit.”


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