2005 Junior Bassmaster World Championship
July 23rd – July 25th, 2005
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Derek Jacobson and Dave Saterbak, both members of the Minnesota Junior B.A.S.S. Federation and the Bassin Boys, along with their families traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the 2005 Junior Bassmaster World Championship. Dave was also there for the Casting Kids National Finals. Dave is the first person in history to compete in both Junior National events that coincide with the 2005 Bassmaster Classic. This was the second year B.A.S.S has held the Junior World Championship.
From the time they arrived in Pittsburgh on Saturday, B.A.S.S. had a full agenda for all the Junior Anglers. Forty-five different state federations came to compete in this event. On Saturday afternoon they met all the tournament sponsors and received products from each one of them. There was a pre-tournament meeting that they attended, followed by the kickoff banquet at the Marriott Hotel Ballroom. The banquet was a big affair. After the junior contenders and their families were seated, B.A.S.S. brought all the Classic qualifiers in one at time and introduced them. During the dinner some of the Classic Pros spoke to the junior anglers. When Mike Icconnelly got up to speak, he did it in his classic style and the crowd loved it. After dinner the pro and contender pairings were announced. Contenders from different states and age groups were paired together. Derek was paired with Classic Pro Scott Rooks as his boat driver. Dave was paired with Classic Pro Tim Horton, a seven time classic qualifier.
The tournament site was the in the town of Kittanning, Pennsylvania on the Alleghany river. The Jr. Anglers could fish either pool 6 or 7. Going up to pool 6 required locking up and burning valuable fishing time. On Sunday, July 24th a 5 hour pro-am was held where Derek and Dave, along with their Jr. Partners, fished along side their Bassmaster Classic qualifiers that day as a team. The boats they used were the same Triton boats that their pros would use in the Bassmaster Classic. Each team that day was allowed to bring in three fish per boat. The pros helped their junior anglers put together patterns and how they would fish the tournament waters. This was also their pre-fishing day. The water had been off limits for 30 days prior to the tournament. It was also a day for them to get comfortable going across the Bassmaster stage and being interviewed.
The official practice day had been a tough bite for most of the Jr. Anglers. The Smallmouth was the prime target and they were scattered. Derek had caught several fish, but they were under the 12 inch minimum. Dave caught one fish over 12 inches and several smaller ones. A few of the Jr. Anglers brought in Largemouth. The water level in the two pools was way down, the current was almost non-existent and the water temperature in the low 80’s. Dave and Derek talked after the practice day and compared notes. Dave had locked up to pool 6 and found nothing worth fishing. The one common factor was spinning rods with 8 pound test and down sized All Terrain Tubes, Berkley 3”Craws, and Baby Rhino Bugs. The Smallmouth were hitting the crankbaits, but not hooking up. One junior angler did catch a 5lb-4oz Largemouth on the practice day. The local press said that was the biggest one they ever heard of being caught on that stretch of the river.
On Monday morning the tournament began. The sky was clear, hot and muggy. If felt like the Minnesota weather had followed us out. Push off was at 8:00am with weigh in starting a 1:00pm. Derek and Dave were primed and ready. They both decided they would fish pool 7. They targeted the rip-rap, wood, grass and some back water where they had found minor water temperature changes. They also worked together with their partners as a team that day to try and find a pattern that would entice the Smallmouth into biting.
Derek scored and brought an 11 oz legal fish to the scales. That was good enough for 7th place. He caught it on a Berkley 3” craw that Dave had given him the night before. Dave failed to bring a fish to the scales. When Derek and Dave were brought up on stage to be interviewed, their Classic pro’s said that they fished hard, focused on their fishing and never give up till the last possible minute. They were both asked on stage if they were nervous fishing with a Classic pro. They both said it was just another day out fishing, but they would never forget those two days they spent fishing with a Bassmaster Classic Pro.
Joey Nania of the Washington Junior Federation won the 11-14 age group with a 1 lb-4 oz Smallmouth. Joey fished with Kevin Vandam that day. Scott Gettings of Rhode Island Junior Federation won the 15-18 age group with a 2 lb- 8 oz bag. He was the only angler to weigh in two fish. Scott fished with Jimmy Mize that day. A total of 15 fish were weighed in that day. During the Bassmaster Classic later that week, the pros showed us all that the fishing was extremely tough on the river system for them also. Kevin Vandam won it with a little over 12 ½ pounds for three days of fishing. A little over a 4 pound average per day for him. A few of the big name pros we have followed over the years, failed to even weigh one fish in. All the junior anglers fishing went out and gave it their best.
Derek and Dave showed true professionalism and sportsmanship throughout the event and represented the Minnesota Junior Federation proudly.
Stacy Twiggs, the Bassmaster National Youth Director and B.A.S.S. made this a truly great experience for the Junior Anglers with all the months of planning prior to this event. The pros all commented on the junior angler’s skills and determination out on the water with the tough fishing conditions. The pros are convinced that one of these kids from this Junior World Championship will be at the Bassmaster Classic one day and win it.
Next year the Classic heads to Central Florida in February, where two lucky Minnesota junior federation anglers will make that prestigious trip. We will find out who they at their State Junior Championship, which will be held on Prior Lake August 18th. Good luck to them all.
Skeeter - custom
Berkley - lures and patches
Gander Mountain - who sponsors Dave
Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation Youth Director