Good morning, Xplorers!
Welcome to the holiday season! Thanksgiving is fast approaching, so we think it’s time to start reflecting on the things we’re most thankful for. Here at TerraX, we’re thankful for the opportunity to contribute to the protection of our cultural resources. We’re also thankful for all of our incredible team members and the hard work they do. We truly have the best team (human and animal alike) and we want to shout them out every chance we get!
Finally, (Yup, you guessed it), we’re thankful for fishing.
It may seem a little silly, but we truly are thankful for the fishing tournaments we’ve been able to support this year! Just a couple of weeks ago, Carson and Grant competed in round three of the Three-River Throwdown on Lake Jordan. Remember — there are only five rounds total, so that puts us just over the halfway point. So, we figured it was time for another check-in!
The competition was tough this time, and all of the kids really had to work for their catches. We’re proud of their hard work, and we’re excited to fill you in on all the details of the day. Are you ready to dig, erm, drop a line deeper?
Proper Pre-fishing Prevents Poor Performance
As usual, the whole tournament process started early Friday morning when the kids headed down to Lake Jordan for their pre-fish. Grant’s dad, Doug, picked up Carson and took the boys to meet up with their captain, Jackson, and the boat. They set everything up just as they would on the real tournament day and headed out as soon as safe daylight hit. They spent most of the day out on the water trying to figure out the best places to actually find the fish. And they really did need all that time!
For context, Lake Jordan is not a particularly wide lake, but it is long. Just to drive across it to the Mitchell Dam, it took Jackson 20 minutes — and that’s without stopping! With so much space to find a single measly fish, the kids had their work cut out for them.
The longer the team searched, the more they realized the fish did not feel like biting. For whatever reason — be it the weather, the temperature of the water, or the availability of food — the fish were not their usual active selves. Nevertheless, the kids pressed on. They reasoned that the fish must have been in deeper waters farther from the surface where they would have been more likely to bite.
Carson, Grant, and Jackson found a couple of points — underwater ridge spurs where fish tend to congregate — and went to check them out. Fortunately, they found more than a few fish there. The waters weren’t quite as teeming as they may have hoped, but still — they’d clearly found their prime spots. With that, they had their game plan and they were now ready for the real tournament on Saturday. All that remained was a good night’s rest!
Since Grant’s dad took the first shift getting the boys out on the water super early in the morning, Carson’s parents, Kenny and Angie, took their shift on tournament day. In typical mom fashion, Angie was the first one up at the ungodly hour of 3:30 in the morning. She then woke Kenny and Carson about twenty minutes later. Within an hour, they picked up Grant and set off for the lake. That’s dedication, folks!
Once the kids got set up in the boat, they were rewarded for their early morning efforts with a breathtaking sunrise. The whole team made sure to take in the moment — you don’t see a sky like this every day — and Kenny snapped this gorgeous photo.
There was excitement in the air as the teams waited for safe daylight. Finally, at about 6:00 AM, the first flight of boats blasted off. Carson and Grant were able to leave the shore about 30 minutes later, in the third flight, but no matter — tournament rules allow the flights to both leave in 15-minute increments and return in 15-minute increments so that everyone gets the same amount of time to fish. With a set return time of 2:30 PM, Carson, Grant, and Jackson set off for the points they’d discovered during the pre-fish.
Meanwhile, Kenny and Angie went home and went back to sleep! (We would have too.)
Just as expected, the fish did not have an interest in biting. And of course, that made for a pretty long day on the water. To make things even more difficult, the Mitchell Dam was not allowing water to run through – meaning there was a lack of a current and, therefore, a lack of active fish likely to bite! Yeup, the waters were still and calm, and the fish were quite content to hang out near their rocks and under their cliffs.
Nevertheless, our team persevered — they casted their lines and waited patiently for those fish to come …
Meanwhile, at about 1:30 PM, Kenny and Angie picked up sustenance for the boys — pizza (yum) — and headed back to the lake to meet the other parents, eager to receive their young anglers. They set up their tent and tons of food — you can bet those kids are hungry when they finally get off the water! And then, just as it started raining (because of course!), it was time for the weigh in.
The Results (Drum Roll Please!)
But first! Before we just tell you the results (What are we? Animals!), we’d like to point out that Carson and Grant were one of only 10 boats who caught the maximum six fish teams are allowed to weigh in at the end of a tournament. Pretty impressive, right? But we did a little more number crunching — Out of the 121 total boats, 102 boats caught three or fewer fish, and 57 boats caught nothing at all. It just goes to show — those fish were really not feeling it!
Meanwhile, our own personal champions Carson and Grant actually caught (We’ll have that drum roll now please…) 13 fish! But, you know, who’s counting? (Us, we are, we are counting!)
Now, let’s take a look at those weights. Carson and Grant’s total catch came in at 10.53 lbs! That’s just 3.1 lbs behind the first place winner — another team from Carson’s school, Benjamin Russell, by the way. Additionally, their largest fish weighed in at 2.45 lbs — that’s pretty big for a bass!
Okay okay, we know what you’re waiting for, the rankings (we are getting to that). Keep in mind, Carson and Grant are some of the younger competitors up against some pretty stiff competition and kids with years more experience — but, at the end of the day, Carson and Grant came in (another drum roll please, xplorers!) sixth place! To remind you, that’s out of 121 boats! These two just keep blowing the competition out of the water — and blowing our minds in the process. These two just continue to shine and rank highly with each tournament.
And get this — not only did Carson and Grant rank well, but their impressive score helped the entire Benjamin Russell team hold onto the top spot in the team competition for another round! Thanks to Carson and Grant and their incredible teammates, the Benjamin Russell Student Anglers are enjoying the view from the top with a total score of 885. Now, they can’t get too comfortable up there — not with the Evangel Lightning Bass Fishing Team right behind them with 876 points — but as long as they keep up the good work, we’re confident they’ll find even greater success in the future!
Halfway Point Reflections
Here at the halfway point of the competition for the fall tournament season, we wanted to take just a minute to reflect. We’re three rounds in, and already we’re so proud of how far the team has come. They’ve faced early mornings, crazy heat, rain, and even injury (as you can see, Carson is still wearing a boot for that broken foot), but no matter what, they keep pressing on.
The great Jackson Kelly deserves another shout out, too. He didn’t have to volunteer his boat and his time or sacrifice his sleep to join the kids for these early-morning tournaments, but he does it anyway, and always with a smile. He’s been a great captain for our team, and he continually models sportsmanship and generosity. Thank you so much, Jackson!
We’ve been so impressed with the kids for their teamsmanship and good attitudes, and we’re definitely proud of the way they’ve handled the fishing itself. Carson and Grant have gotten pretty good at noticing the best places to catch, if we do say so ourselves, and they take great care to protect the fish and ensure they’re working with the environment — not against it.
At the end of the day — that’s the most important thing. If the kids are having a great time and learning more about the natural environment and how we should interact with it, that’s enough for us! No matter what place they come in, and whether Benjamin Russell wins or loses, we’re proud of all the teams, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to participate. With two tournaments ahead of us, we’re fired up and ready to go!
Thanks so much for joining us for another check-in with the Official TerraX Bass Fishing Team! We’re loving this series, and we hope you are too. There’s one more regular tournament and then we’ll be crowning the new champions at the final round in December, so be sure to stay tuned for that!
In the meantime, you can continue to keep up with us on our socials — you know we’re on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn! We’ll have plenty of fun posts for you between now and then, so be sure to check back.
From all of us here at the TerraX Sports Center, we’ll see you next time!
— The TerraX Team