This weekend on Clarke Hill Lake in Augusta, GA, the second-ever Georgia High School Association Bass Fishing Championship will take place. Last year was the inaugural GHSA Bass Fishing Championship, won by Evans High School in Augusta, Georgia. As of today, 108 Georgia High School teams have qualified to participate in this weekend tournament. Six teams from the Savannah area will be participating.
How did the teams qualify? There were four GHSA Regional Bass Fishing qualifying tournaments. The groups that caught the most fish and weighed the most qualified for the championship. Where were the regionals held? Regional number one was held on January 22, 2022, at Lake Seminole, with over 200 boats, which was the average for the four regionals. Only the top 25 boats qualified for the championship from the first event. Then regional two was at Lake Oconee (30 boats qualified) in February, regional three at West Point Lake (27 boats qualified), and regional four (26 boats qualified) at Lake Lanier.
Two boats from Richmond High School will be at the championships. Wildcats Brandon Champions and Jackson Behringer qualified at Lake Seminole. Then the second boat of Jagger Monaco and Joey Moore qualified at Lake Oconee regional. One team returning that took part in the first competition last year is Savannah Christian Raiders Matthew Gunn and Robert Miller. Two boats coming out of Effingham County Schools are Jon Goss and Trent Bryant from South Effingham and the Effingham County Rebels boat of Tucker Smith and Trace Wright.
At the second regional on Lake Oconee in February, the Bryan County High School Bass team of Logan Sehr and Hunter Shuman made their debut in the GHSA Bass fishing sport, and it was a special showing. The Redskins anglers won the GHSA qualifying event by catching five basses that weighed 15 pounds to earn a berth in the state championships field.
How does GHSA determine a winner?
GHSA Bass Fishing Rules from the GHSA constitution
- Scoring: is determined by the pounds and ounces of each boat’s catch during each tournament. Only largemouth, spotted, redeye, shoal, or smallmouth bass are accepted species.
- No regurgitated forage or other foreign matter may be placed in a bass. The daily limit will be five basses per boat unless conditions dictate a reduced limit or the state or lake limit is less than five, in which case those limits will prevail.
- After possessing the daily limit, boats must cull immediately upon their next catch. Boats possessing more than the daily limit must notify the tournament director immediately upon discovery of the infraction and reduce their catch to the daily limit by releasing live bass. Boats possessing more than the daily limit will be penalized 2 pounds for each bass over the limit. The minimum length limit for bass will be 12 inches unless the state or lake limit is more than 12 inches or tournament officials set a longer limit for a specific tournament, in which case, the state or lake limit or longer limit set by tournament officials for the tournament will prevail.
- Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure the prescribed length limit will be penalized at the rate of 1 pound for each short bass presented. After boats check in at the official checkpoint, they must present all fish in possession that meet the tournament size limit to tournament officials to be counted, measured and weighed.
- Once a boat’s catch has been presented to tournament officials, that day’s catch is final. After being weighed, each boat’s catch must be turned over to tournament officials unless otherwise instructed. Each boat’s catch must be presented in an official weigh-in bag.
- The winning boat is determined by the day’s heaviest catch at regionals and the day’s heaviest catch at the state championship. The boat with the heaviest weight of bass at the end of each tournament, with ties broken as outlined below, is declared the winner.
- Tie Breaker: Ties at the state championship will be broken first by total number of bass and then by total number of live bass then by heaviest one-day catch. If a tie for the win remains at the state championship, it will be broken by a fish-off.
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Optim Orthopedics supports Benedictine Military School, Calvary Day School, Richmond Hill High School, Savannah Country Day, South Effingham High School, and St. Vincent's athletics. Benedictine Military School's team doctor is Dr. David Sedory. Dr. David Palmer is the team doctor for Calvary Day School, South Effingham, and Richmond Hill. Savannah Country Day and St. Vincent's team doctor is Dr. Thomas Alexander. Remember, Optim Orthopedics gets you back into the game!