Washington's Nania Grabs Second
Junior Bassmaster World Championship
Geary County State Lake
Junction City, Kansas
November 11, 2008
Edited by Ray Kerchal
Editorís Note: During the last year, the scheduling
of the Junior Bassmaster World Championship has been in transition.
Before 2008, the tournament was held in conjunction with the Bassmasters
Classic which normally took place early in the year. This year the JBWC
was delayed and was held in August with the last professional Elite
Series tournament of the season. Meanwhile, young anglers were
qualifying for the next world championship, which will now be held in
conjunction with the adult Federation Nation Championship. The adult
tournament is now held in the fall. Therefore, the Junior Bassmaster
World Championship took place in November, 2008. The next tournament
will follow this new schedule and should occur in November 2009.
Joey Nania claimed a second Junior Bassmaster World
Championship title, this time in the 15-18-year-old age group at Geary
County State Lake. Nania, who won the 2005 JWC title in the 11-14 age
group, brought two fish to the scales totaling 4 pounds, 1 ounce, for
the title. He had three bites, with the first falling short of the
15-inch legal length by a quarter-inch.
The final two were caught in shallow water on a Spro
Little John crankbait in crawdad color. The last largemouth was caught
about 10 minutes before the end of the day, weighing 2-1, and that was
large enough to win the Purolator Big Bass of the tournament to earn an
additional $1,000 in scholarships.
"This feels good to win and has been a long dry
spell," Nania said. "This was my fifth Junior World Championships. I
really worked hard for this tournament."
Nania, 17, and his father drove 1,500 miles from
Liberty Lake, Wash., on Sunday to practice and identify key spots for
Saturday's tournament. The early practice paid off as Nania also won a
fully rigged Triton/Mercury Alliance sponsored boat package.
"The water has dropped like 5 degrees since I first
started fishing on Tuesday," Nania said. "It was better fishing earlier
this week. In practice I found a couple crankbait fish. With the cold
front they closed their mouths so I decided to trick them into biting
the crankbait, just something to fly by them."
Drew Creel of Shawnee, Okla., finished in second
place at the JWC with a 3-4 total. The pair of bass were caught on an
A&M Halo Jig with a brush bug trailer. "I just enjoyed being out there
and trying to win," Creel said. "My dad and brother got me started
fishing, and the competition is a lot of fun."
In the 11-14 age division of the JWC, the six-angler
field battled cold and windy conditions, unable to bring any legal
catches to the scales. The six contestants will equally divide $11,000
in scholarships, with each angler earning just over $1,800.
The 12 JWC anglers qualified for the championship
event, two from each of the six Federation Nation divisions. The 12
junior competitors are split into two age groups, 11-14 and 15-18. All
Junior Bassmaster World Championship contenders will receive academic
college scholarship awards, with the top angler in each age division
receiving a $5,000 scholarship. The Junior World Bassmaster Championship
showcases the top youth anglers in the world and provides them the
opportunity to compete through BASS ó the most visible fishing
tournament structure in the world.
Sponsors of the Federation Nation Youth Program
include Toyota Tundra, Advance Auto Parts, Berkley, Lowrance, Mercury,
Purolator, Skeeter, Yamaha, OPTIMA Batteries and Triton Boats. Local
sponsors of the event include Junction City, The Geary County Convention
& Visitor's Bureau, The Kansas Department of Travel & Tourism, the
Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks and the United States Army Corps
of Engineers-Milford Lake.