Picture in your mind climbing into a bass boat at 7:00am on a cold, rainy morning and taking off across a wind-blown lake. You have your best foul weather gear on but nothing can take the chill away as you endure the extremely rough ride of bouncing over the white caps with your chin sunk to your chest trying to avoid what feels like daggers of ice blowing into your face. Sound like fun? NOT!
It would have been the kind of weekend where the decision would have been to just stay home. You would have had to have a mighty good reason for braving elements like that. Fishing in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association state championship tournament qualifies. Still, most of the 87 teams that fished Toledo Bend on January 20-21, will remember the event as downright miserable.
That doesn’t include the Quitman High School team of Hayden Davis and Caden Brown.
The 16 hours of suffering from being exposed to inclement weather that was better for duck hunting than fishing will most likely be remembered as one of the best times he ever had. Certainly, when thinking of his high school days. That is because when it was all said and done the QHS angler landed the largest lunker of all 174 competitors to be crowned Big Bass Award winner.
In combination with the six other fish Brown and Davis caught, the local pair finished 13th overall, fourth among all Class B schools, and third out of the teams from north Louisiana that competed. Considering that for the other two schools, Many and North DeSoto, Toledo Bend is basically their “home” lake the feat is all the more amazing.
After the first day, it didn’t look as if the drive to Cypress Bend Park in Many was going to prove very fruitful as only 7.2 lbs were registered leaving them way down in the standings. Day two proved to be a whole different story. Thanks to the “big bass” Brown and Davis checked in with a stringer that was just two-tenths from being the best of the day at 13 lbs. and 13 ozs. to vault them into the top 15 of the state regardless of classification.
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