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Catch of the day

Prospect anglers win bass fishing championship

by Joshua Spaulding
Sports Editor - Granite State News, Carroll County Independent, Meredith News, Gilford Steamer, Winnisquam Echo, Plymouth Record-Enterprise and Baysider

COACH COREY ROUX and anglers Wyatt Stockman (left) and Cody Symonds pose with Prospect's state championship plaque after Saturday's tournament. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
October 07, 2013
LACONIA — After a solid performance in last spring's first foray into high school bass fishing, the Prospect Mountain squad came back with a vengeance in the first official state tournament on Saturday.

The Timber Wolves hauled in seven fish, weighing in at a total of 21.18 pounds, easily outdistancing the 12 other teams that had qualified for the state championship meet, which was held on Lake Winnisquam.

The team of Cody Symonds and Wyatt Stockman and coach Corey Roux were presented with the state championship trophy and medals for their work.

"Fishing is tough this time of year," Symonds said, and that was echoed by the fact that many of the schools competing brought in just a couple of fish, while one school didn't land any fish.

Symonds noted that he and Stockman have both fished a lot in different tournaments, which was helpful in their quest. Symonds also participated in the tournament last year on one of two Prospect teams.

Symonds said that he and Stockman picked three spots and hit those three spots over and over again, hoping to land the top catches. They caught their final fish of the afternoon about 30 minutes before the 2 p.m. deadline for heading to shore.

Stockman noted that his first high school fishing tournament was exciting and both students were excited to bring home the hardware.

"It's nice to win a state championship," Symonds said. "And it's the first one, so it's a big deal."

This tournament was a bit different than last year's trial tournament. Because last year's tournament was held in the spring, the fishing rules were different than they were in the fall, according to New Hampshire Bass Nation's Ray Meyer of Alton.

In the spring, the boats of two student anglers were limited to four fish, since the state fishing laws only permit individual anglers to catch two fish each during that time. In the fall, the limit goes up to four each if fishing in pairs, so teams were allowed to bring in eight fish.

The fall tournament also had a qualifying tournament, limiting the number of teams that could compete in the state championship to just 13. The NHIAA sanctioned the qualifying tournament and the championship tournament.

Meyer noted that the lake was shut off to the competitors and their boat captains/coaches a week prior to the meet.

Last year, all teams competed in the trial basis championship on Lake Winnipesaukee, with each school allowed to bring two teams of two to the tournament. This year, each school was allowed to bring four competitors in addition to the boat captain. However, only two competitors were allowed to fish at once. A number of schools took advantage of this, subbing in different anglers throughout the day.

For the first time, Kingswood fielded a team for the bass fishing tournament. The Knight team of Richard Burnham and Nick Baston, along with coach Paul Harvey, had a great day in the qualifying round, finishing second overall. However, the tough fishing on Winnisquam on Saturday got to the Knights, as they managed a total of 4.25 pounds of fish.

The spring champions, Exeter, finished second to Prospect Mountain, while Moultonborough Academy finished in third and Bedford finished in fourth.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or sportsgsn@salmonpress.com.

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