The Catawba Valley Community College bass fishing team had a successful performance this past weekend competing in the 2021 Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash on Kentucky Lake.
A trio of Red Hawk anglers — Hayden Lail, Spencer Black and Justin Eggers — participated in the event, which featured four weigh ins after the first day of competition and three weigh ins during the second and final day of competition.
Due to the event format, Lail, Black and Eggers all competed together on one boat, but it was an individual weigh in with each angler weighing their biggest bass. Anglers could only use Berkley Baits during the event.
Lail did the best out of all Red Hawk anglers, finishing 23rd overall out of 271 anglers who weighed in. Lail’s big bass was 4.30 pounds, and he was in 10th place in the event’s standings during the final hour off the weigh in.
This was an improvement from his day one catch, which was a bass weighing 2.29 pounds — good enough for 223rd place.
“Late in the day on Sunday, they found a few decent sized fish, and Hayden was able to put a 4.30 pound bass in the boat that gave him a 10th place for that weigh in and a 23rd overall biggest fish out of almost 300 anglers,” said CVCC bass fishing head coach Angela Mayo. “Justin and Spencer also weighed fish in the tournament, and all three of their performances will give us valuable points in the School of the Year race.”
Despite some difficulty early in this weekend’s tournament, Eggers caught a bass weighing 3.02 pounds on his second day of competition, which put him in 129th place.
Mayo was thrilled with the showing from all three of her Red Hawk anglers in the event, including the tournament-saving heroics of Black.
“Considering the bad start that Justin and Hayden had at Kentucky Lake, I’m really impressed with their performance,” Mayo said. “They had severe boat issues the first day of practice and if Spencer had not been able to join them for the tournament, they would not have been able to compete. Spencer really stepped up. When he heard about the boat issues, he jumped in his truck and took off with his boat to join them in the tournament.”
Black, who wasn’t originally scheduled to compete in the event, but made the trip to Kentucky, caught one big bass on day two, which weighed 2.03 pounds, putting him in 259th place.
Overall, the event was a success for the Red Hawks, who earned double points in the Bass Pro Shops Team of the Year standings. CVCC is currently the top-ranked junior college and 22nd overall in the standings, which were released on March 7.
“One key to our success is that we don’t let each other fail,” Mayo said. “Spencer taking off to Kentucky at a moments notice is a perfect example. This team never gives up.”