2006 Bassmaster Junior World Championship and Casting Kids National Finals Recap

The 36th CITGO Bassmaster Classic week kicked off on Friday, February 17th, 2006 with the JWC pairings banquet. All the Classic contenders, JWC contenders, Parents and Youth directors were in attendance. The banquet was held at the Radisson World Gate Resort in Orlando, FL.
After a great meal and presentations by Ray Scott, Stacey Twiggs and other BASS staff, the 90 JWC contenders in two age groups, 11-14 and 15-18, were paired with a Classic competitor for Saturday and Sunday. They launched from Venetian Gardens in Harrisburg, FL and fished the Harris Chain of Lakes.

Minnesota’s own Adam Jorgenson (11-14 age group) from the Fairmont Jr. club was paired with Scott Rook, and Donald Brenhoffer of the Gopher Jr. Bass (15-18 age group) was paired with Rick Clunn.

Saturday, they launched from Venetian Gardens in Harrisburg, FL and fished the Harris Chain of Lakes. It was a chance for the young anglers to get to know their Pro partners, receive personal instruction and advice, and check out the chain of lakes to see what looked promising for Sunday’s final championship. The bass were starting to move up for the spawn and the JWC contenders got to see plenty of big fish.

Sunday morning’s competition day arrived accompanied by a cold front and the fishing conditions changed overnight. The fish that were moving up backed off, and the fishing became tough. The JWC contenders were on their own Sunday as the Pros were allowed only to pilot the boat. All decisions on where, what and how were left to the young anglers.

At the weigh in Sunday afternoon Adam placed 15th in the 11-14 age group with one fish at 1-11 and Donald placed 13th in the 15-18 age group with one fish at 3-07. Congratulations guys, Minnesota is proud of you!

Nick Kelly, 17, of Brownsville, Tenn., and Payden Hibdon, 14, of Stover, Mo., each won their age group. Nick was a previous JWC champion and Payden is the son of Dion and the grandson of Guido Hibdon. They both took home a $5,000.00 scholarship and were each surprised with a rigged Triton / Mercury / Motorguide / Lowrance boat, motor and trailer combination that was presented on the Classic Stage.

After a very exciting Casting Kids event at the Classic, Kiana Clark of Washington and Alex Thomas of Maryland were crowned the National Casting Kids Champions in their age groups. They also each received a 5,000.00 scholarship, awarded on the Classic stage.

It was a special treat to be able to attend these events this year, and to be able to visit with these fine young anglers. I am sure that they will never forget the treatment they received from everyone associated with the Classic. They were all made to feel like the Champions they truly are.

Thank you to our sponsors:
All Terrain Tackle - lures and embroidery
Berkley - lures and patches
MG Lures - lures and embroidery
Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation
Mojo Rods - custom rods
Skeeter - custom embroidered shirts

Joe Barnett
North Region Director
MN. BASS Federation Nation