Lake St. Clair, June 25-26, 2011

TOURNAMENT RESULTS:  Overall Results     Big Fish Results     Team Awards Results    Photo Gallery

We want to thank everyone who came out and helped and supported our Junior Anglers at the 2011 Junior State Championship on Lake St. Clair. We could not have done it without your help.

Winning Anglers

This was the very first time we had ever held the Junior State Championship on the famous Lake St. Clair. We had a total of 30 Junior Anglers attend and fish the tournament on a beautiful sunny day on the lake. The anglers were a little limited on how far they could run to fish, but apparently they almost all figured it out. Several clubs helped out by bringing their boats and being boat captains while the Junior Angles fished hard all day. In the end, two Junior Anglers managed to top the rest of the competitors. Austin Ruddell from Woodhaven, MI in the Michigan Bass Anglers ended up with 14.62 pounds of fish while Zach Nighswonger from Hamburg, MI. in the Michigan Bass Busters brought a 11.74 pound sack to the scales. These two junior Anglers both managed to bring a full five fish limit to the weigh-in for the day, as did 12 other of the Junior Anglers.

The entire event was "launched" at the Bass Pro Shop in Auburn Hills, with a Registration Banquet on Saturday. Boaters, Anglers and their families were all invited to attend and enjoyed a dinner. The anglers also got to meet their randomly paired boaters. After the rules were reviewed, the anglers received bags of goodies including Bass Pro Shop Gift cards to get their last minute baits and supplies.

The Junior Anglers all arrived early on tournament day, ready to hit the lake. After registering and finding their boaters, the anglers loaded up their equipment and prepared to launch. The boaters and anglers all got to see "how the big boys do it" right off the bat. They got organized and prepared to blast off just like we do for the Adult State Championship each year. Once on the lake the anglers went in every which direction. The boaters were not allowed to help with any information at all. The Junior anglers were all on their own. Some got their limits early while others struggled all day. Some of the kids found out that Lake St. Clair can be a great fishing venue, while others found that the lake can be tough.

The weigh in crew was all ready to go when the anglers started to arrive back at Metro Beach Park at 2 P.M. . Everyone was trailered back near the weigh in site where they could unload their fish and bring them right to the scales. The weigh in went flawlessly while the crowd of onlookers waited to see how their Juniors did.

Chapter Team Award

Each Junior Club competed for a "Chapter Team Award" during the Tournament. The award is given to the Junior Chapter whose collective efforts of 4 pre-designated Junior Anglers exceed the other Chapter Team weights. Four (4) members of the Junior Chapter are designated before the tournament as Team Members, to compete for a Chapter award. The Junior Michigan Bass Busters took the coveted title this year. The managed a nice combined total of 34.91 pounds between the 4 anglers, which was very respectable. The Junior club received a nice trophy for their combined efforts and each team member will get their own trophy as well.

Big Bass Award

Each angler is allowed to weigh one of their fish as their Big Bass. The biggest Bass in each of the two age groups wins a prize and plaque. Jake Dorony from the Junior Michigan Bass Busters brought a really nice 5.20 pound Smallmouth to the scales for the 15-18 age group while Kenny Messina from the Michigan Bass Anglers brought a respectable 3.12 pound Smallmouth in for the 11-14 age group. Several of the other Junior Anglers brought fish in over 3 pounds.

Overall Report

In all, all 4 Junior Clubs came to the Tournament this year. Macatawa Bass Cubs, the Junior Michigan Bass Busters, the Junior Michigan Bass Anglers and the Junior Michigan Bass Gang competed. Anglers are mostly paired up according to age groups with boaters from other clubs. The clubs are allowed in most part, to pair their anglers up. The boaters are instructed to not help the Junior Anglers at all, other than maybe help netting their fish. We try to encourage the Junior Anglers to do it all, including running the trolling motor all day. This year was the very first time we ever held the tournament on "Big Water", that is always a gamble on Lake St. Clair, but this year the weather was as good as it could be. We did limit the anglers to American Waters only, all of Anchor Bay, the main Lake and down to the Gross Pointe Yacht Club. Other than that they could go most anywhere in the lake.

We especially want to thank everyone for all of our wonderful help this year.  We have never had so many people step up to help out at the banquet and tournament.  It really helped make things run so much smoother than ever before.  We also want to thank each and every single one of our sponsors again this year.  This would not have been such a great success without them.

Bass Pro Shops – NBAA and K&E Lures – National Rods - Blue Cross –Cruncher Baits - Extreme Tackle

We are already looking forward to next year’s tournament. Our two Junior first place winners Austin Ruddell and Zachary Nighswonger will now advance on to the Northern Divisional Jr. club tournament at Fort Madison , Iowa. They will be fishing against 7 other Junior anglers in each of their age divisions.  Their tournament will be on August 12, 2011. Their weight will also be used in the final results of our adult N. Divisional team’s weight.  They will be attending daily meeting with the Michigan team in an effort to help the Juniors and the Adult teams weights.

Our two Michigan Junior anglers will be competing to advance on to the World Junior Championship in Monroe, Louisiana on Nov. 5th.  Our state is sponsored by the Alliance program. This is made up of Triton Boats-Mercury Motors- MotorGuide- and Lowrance.  They will be competing for several scholarships and the winners in each age group that are in the Alliance program will win a complete Triton boat package.

 We all wish Austin and Zachary the very best of luck in their upcoming tournaments…….


This along with the adult Northern Divisional can be watched on live streaming video on Aug. 10-11-12th. Please check http://www.bassmaster.com/federation  each day around 3:00 P.M.to watch them all weigh-in.