Friday, June 22, 2018
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No exaggeration necessary here

Brady teen and partner bag bass limit, advance to national fishing tournament.

COLLEGE STATION, TX—Two days with barely a nibble and no fish in the boat can leave any angler a little discouraged.

Adam Diehl of Brady and his high school bass club partner, Drew Bailey of North Platte, spent nearly two full days last week on Lake Somerville near College Station, TX, hoping to lock onto a prime fishing spot.

They tried buzzbaits and Rat-L-Traps in several areas where college tournament competitors were working the water.

“I was kind of worried because we didn’t get on any fish,” Diehl said. “The college guys had big bags and they’d been fishing all week but we didn’t get anything more than a couple of bites.”

So the Nebraska duo had nothing to go on when boat captain Kent Priel of North Platte launched on tournament day of the FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing Regional Championship Saturday morning.

“We tried working crankbaits in a pocket along the rocks,” Diehl said. “After about an hour we decided to move.”

They went back to an area of trees in shallow water where they had a couple bites the day before.

That wasn’t the honey hole either but a similar pocket not far away produced four fish in an hour.

Diehl said the two young anglers started using lures Priel suggested: Zoom Baby Brush Hogs in watermelon red magic.

“It’s probably one of the ugliest lures you’ve ever seen but it worked,” Diehl said.

Bailey put the first two fish in the live well.

Then Diehl added a couple more.

“We sat there and watched boats come in looking for fish,” he said. “We really didn’t want them invading our spot.”

Pressured by the approaching boat, Diehl said he noticed a small pile of tree limbs he hadn’t fished yet and he pitched his lure into the middle of it.

“When I pulled out the fifth fish and we realized that it had to have weighed close to 3 pounds, Kent started screaming so loud the other boat left,” Diehl said.

That’s when confidence began to swell.

“We still had about two hours to fish and we already had our limit of nice fish,” Diehl said. “We caught a few more but they were all under the 14-inch keeper limit.”

When Bailey and Diehl carried their fish to the weigh-in stage, Diehl said he noticed only one other team carrying two bags.

“I felt really good about things then,” he said.

The Nebraska team was third of five to weigh their fish and when the scale read 11 pounds and 3 ounces, Diehl was sure they’d won.

“It’s pretty cool,” said the Brady High School sophomore. “It’s still a little hard to believe.”

The Nebraska team beat the second-place finishers from Kansas by 4 pounds, 10 ounces.

For their winning effort, Diehl and Bailey received trophies, jerseys and an all-expense paid trip to the national tournament in the spring.

They hope to take Priel along again as their boat captain and coach.

“I know I definitely wouldn’t have had this opportunity without him,” Diehl said. “It’s been pretty amazing.”