Duo Marion qualifies for Bassmaster Junior Nationals | Sports

John D. Homan south

MARION – A pair of 8th graders from Marion will compete at Bummaster Junior Nationals on July 29-30 at a 1,000-acre lake in Huntingdon, Tenn.

Landon Gabe and Carson Brunner qualified for the prestigious meet by virtue of taking first place late last month at the Open Championship at Norfolk Lake in Mountain Home, Ark.

The two 14-year-olds caught four fish totaling 10 pounds, 13 ounces to win the championship, beating the runners-up by an ounce. Gabe and Brunner also claimed the biggest bass ever caught in the open, weighing in at 5 pounds, 11 ounces. The fish was caught with a sonorous bait.

“It was a great experience,” said Gabe, who has now qualified for the Nationals three times over the past four years. “This is the first time I’ve been involved in winning an open race.”

Gabe said he learned about fishing from his father Stephen, who is also the boat captain. Landon got a chance to watch his cousin, White Gabby, compete on the bass fishing team at Marion High School. He said he and Brunner began training for the regional competitions in March and would continue to hit the lake even after the national meet.

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Brunner said he does not expect to win the Arkansas Open.

“But it was really cool when we did that,” he said. “We kind of struggled earlier in the day, and even after we figured out the big problem, I thought we might still need another one. Luckily, we didn’t. When the winners were announced, I looked at Landon. I think we were in a bit of a shock. “.

Brunner said he also learned the art of fishing from his father, Brian.

“Maybe I’ve been fishing since I was less than 5 years old,” he said. “Fishing has always been fun for me.”

In order to obtain citizenship, Brunner added, he and Gaby would likely have to catch their allotted number of fish with a total weight of close to 20 pounds.

Although the duo only fished competitively together for two years, Gabe and Brunner have been good friends for several years, having played a summer baseball game together. The two also competed in the World Finals last year, finishing second in the Northern District in East Mullen and eleventh overall among junior entrants. They also won an official championship last year at Lake Carlisle.

Members of the Southern Illinois Future Anglers Club at Marion, Gaby and Brunner will be one of 60 to 70 teams competing for youth.

“There will be one team, if not two teams, that will represent most of the states and Canada as well,” Gabe said. “The hot weather may make it difficult to catch a lot of fish, but hopefully we can find a good spot and get a couple of big fish.”

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