HCS Students Crowned National Champions of Bassmaster High School Fishing Tournament
Posted on 08/02/2021
HCS Students Crowned National Champions of Bassmaster High School Fishing TournamentChattanooga, Tenn. (August 2, 2021) — Gage King and Banks Shaw of Sale Creek Middle High School became the first Tennessee students to ever win the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School National Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors on July 31, 2021.

King, who graduated in 2021, and Shaw, who is a rising senior for the 2021-22 school year, each earned $7,000 in scholarships for their win, as well as scholarship offers from schools such as Bryan College and Bethel University. King and Shaw used their home-lake advantage to bring home the win with three bass weighing 20-11.

“This is the best thing that has ever happened to me, to be honest with you,” said King. “People don’t understand how hard fishing really is until you get out here and do it and do it all year. On our home lake, we had to put it together and figure it out. We know the fish that are there, it’s just timing when you can get them to bite.”

The pair had a rough start to the tournament but pulled from behind on day two which allowed them to jump into their first place spot at the end of the weekend.

“We went home beating our heads in, thinking, ‘We are overthinking this. We just have to go fish,’” said King. “We tried something new and it ended up working for us.”

The team credited their final day’s haul to their knowledge of the area and Garmin Livescope.

“It’s so tough right now and hard to stay consistent,” said Shaw. “You need to run new water. We started in a place we hadn’t fished all week. We caught an 8-5 and caught our third-biggest one.”

The team is the first-ever from Tennessee to be crowned national champions for this tournament.

“I am so proud of Gage and Banks for their passion as well as grit to bring home the first-ever fishing nationship championship not only to Sale Creek but to the state of Tennessee”,” said Dr. LeAnna Welch, principal of Sale Creek Middle High School. “They have consistently prioritized and excelled in their academics, which allowed them to hone their skills on the water and ultimately land the big one.”