March 27, 2014

Outdoors column: Youth teams look to make splash at fishing championship

Four local bass fishing teams will be competing in the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ Youth Bass Fishing Championship Saturday on Lake Murray, located just outside of Columbia.

Four local bass fishing teams will be competing in the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ Youth Bass Fishing Championship Saturday on Lake Murray, located just outside of Columbia.

State titles are on the line for both middle school and high school teams in the second annual event coordinated by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Teams from Conway High School and Waccamaw High School, along with Conway Middle School and Whittemore Park Middle School (in Conway) will compete in the tournament. Fifteen teams will compete for the high school state championship while six teams will compete for the middle school state championship.

Each team consists of up to six anglers that will fish in two-man teams. Each two-man team will be supervised on a boat by an adult volunteer.

“S.C. DNR hosts as fine a tournament as you will see,” said Coach Rayburn Poston, who leads all three teams from the Conway area. “The coaches meeting [Friday night] allows the boys to show up on Saturday morning with their boat captain and get to fishing.”

The event is capped by a weigh-in at the annual Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic, which is being held this weekend at the State Fairgrounds in Columbia, providing a Bassmaster Classic-type experience for student anglers who are able to weigh in fish.

“The weigh in is so cool because the kids who weight in fish are under the lights, in front of flashing cameras, and talking fishing to the host,” said Poston.

Numerous awards will be presented at the weigh-in including the winning middle school and high school, first, second and third places to the top middle school and high school two-man teams and to the angler in the middle and high school categories that weighs in the biggest fish.

Trophies, medals, plaques and Abu Garcia and Berkley fishing gear will also be awarded to the winners. The top ranked high school two-man team with the heaviest bag of fish for the tournament will receive scholarship funds.

Each participant will receive a commemorative T-shirt sponsored by Lake Murray Country and the bragging rights of weighing in at the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic.

Poston is optimistic his Conway High School team will finish strongly in the event.

“We finished fifth in the state last year and with a senior-heavy team, we hope to move up the food chain,” said Poston. “But as long as my boys can (catch) some meat to weigh in, that is all we ask is to make weigh in. This time we hope to be holding up some fattys.”

The Youth Bass Fishing Clubs are a product of a partnership between the S.C. DNR, The Bass Federation of South Carolina and B.A.S.S with help and support from parents, teachers, school districts, local bait and tackle shops, community partners and Pure Fishing.

Turkey Season

The 2014 Spring Turkey Season begins Tuesday and runs through May 1 in Game Zones 1 through 5 in South Carolina, which includes Horry, Georgetown, Marion and Williamsburg counties.

Possession and use of turkey tags is required. The limit is five gobblers per season statewide and no more than two per day. However, in 10 counties including Marion, Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Lee, Lexington, Marlboro, Richland and Sumter, the season limit is two gobblers.

Turkey Needed

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is joining S.C. DNR’s e Take One Make One program in hosting a Turkey Clinic for students around the state. During the clinic students will be learning how to field dress a turkey, shoot a shotgun at a still target and will be given the chance to eat wild turkey for the first time during lunch.

About 40 to 50 participants are expected and because of the high response, the conductors of the clinic are asking for wild turkey donations. Wild turkey breast to use for cooking and whole turkeys that have not been cleaned for the field dressing demonstration are needed.

To donate, e-mail gibsonj@dnr.sc.gov or call 803-734-4122 and a local officer will be scheduled to pick up the donation. For more information on the Take One Make One program visit http://www.dnr.sc.gov/education/tomo/.

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