Local bass-fishing pair win high school tourney

Two Rogue Valley teens put their name in Oregon's bass-fishing history books Saturday by winning the state's inaugural high-school bass tourney.

Jacob Wall of Jacksonville and Colby Pearson of Central Point beat two other teams to take the Oregon State High School Championship, held Saturday on the Columbia River and organized by The Bass Federation.

The win keeps them on track for their ultimate goal — to win the upcoming national tourney.

"It wasn't as big a tournament as we were hoping for," says Pearson, 17. "But we did very well without ever being there before."

The pair's five-bass limit totaled 14.5 pounds. The event was marred by bad weather, but the pair were able to catch five fish each casting tubes, rattling crankbaits and other offerings, Pearson says.

Wall also took big-fish honors with a smallmouth that weighed 3.75 pounds.

They fished from a bass boat driven by a local tournament angler there.

Second place went to a team from Thurston High School, which had a five-fish limit that weighed 12 pounds, 7 ounces. Third place went to a pair of Estacada students who caught two smallmouth bass weighing a total of 4 pounds, 3 ounces.

Wall attends St. Mary's School, and the duo fished under the St. Mary's flag in the tourney, which was based out of the Hood River Marina. It was one of several state or regional tournaments started this year by the Oklahoma-based TBF Student Angler Federation.

Wall and Pearson will join other state champions in the FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing Regional Championship held in conjunction with a National Guard FLW College Fishing Regional Championship hosted on a college campus this fall.

The pair will receive travel allowances to help offset expenses and use of a Ranger boat for that event. The winners from each regional will advance to the FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing National Championship in the spring of 2012. National champions will each earn a $5,000 scholarship to use at the university of their choice.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or email at mfreeman@mailtribune.com.

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