It all started on a cold, Saturday morning at Lake Wheeler. The launch was annoying because the man running it was always yelling, “Speed up. Let’s go, go, go!” but the boat ramp was frozen, and the contestants’ trucks kept sliding into the water. Eventually, we were ready to get started. The ride was rough and frigid. Before long, it felt like we had icicles hanging from our noses.
We started casting at the point of a cliff. It was a cloudy, gray day—so cold we couldn’t feel our fingers. For over an hour we caught nothing, but it was still a little early to expect much. Then all of the sudden, John Dunkerley felt a hit. Unfortunately, he quickly realized he was hung on something. He reeled it in very slowly, trying not to snap the line. Whatever it was would not move. We had to use the trolling motor to get to the area where the bait was hung. It turned out that the line had been spun around a branch by a four-pound spotted bass. Mr. Hank Winks used the net to get the fish out of the water. By the time we got John’s line untangled, we had to leave for the weigh in. As we tried to leave, the rope we used to raise the trolling motor broke. After some time, we finally got the trolling motor back on the boat. We had another long boat ride back to the launch.
Usually a weigh in takes place near the boat launch. But when we arrived, the people running the tournament told us we needed to go to Academy Sports and Outdoors for the weigh in. When we got to the end of the line, they weighed our fish. It was nearly four pounds, which landed our team in nineteenth place out of thirty two schools. Not bad for the Westminster Fishing Team’s first school tournament!
By Brodie Winks, Class of 2019