Local anglers finish competition at World/National Championships

LLOYD BELT | Courtesy photoKiowa anglers Noah Belt and Jaedon Dan hold up their catches after the second day of competition at the National High School Fishing World Finals. They were among six locals who competed last week in La Crosse, Wis.

Three local fishing teams competed in the 11th annual High School Fishing World Finals and National Championship combined event last week, going head-to-head with teams from across the country.

Two teams from Kiowa and one from Hartshorne traveled to La Crosse, Wisconsin to compete in the combined event, which saw nearly 300 teams compete for the biggest catches and top prizes.

All three teams participated in the World Finals, where they fished for three days. Competition was tight, and every ounce made a difference.

The first Kiowa team, consisting of Noah Belt and Jaedon Dan, had a first-day catch of three fish combining for a total weight of six pounds, eight ounces. On the next day, they caught another three fish for a combined weight of seven pounds, ten ounces, leading to a six fish total of 14 pounds, two ounces to advance to the third day of competition.

The second Kiowa team, consisting of Micah Belt and Cade Smith, through the first two days caught six fish for a combined weight of 11 pounds, 13 ounces to advance to the third day as well.

The Hartshorne team, consisting of Magnum Morris and Hayden Curliss, caught a total of four fish through the first two days of competition for a combined weight of eight pounds three ounces, and joined their Kiowa counterparts for the third day of fishing.

During the third day of competition, all three teams participated in the HSFWF Second Chance round, where 173 teams participated.

The first Kiowa team finished 14th in that round, catching three fish totaling at eight pounds 11 ounces. The Hartshorne team clocked in at 41st, with a three fish total of seven pounds 14 ounces. The second Kiowa team’s three fish total equaled seven pounds ten ounces, placing them in 52nd.

In the National Championship portion of the combined event, the Kiowa team of Belt and Smith caught a two-day total of six fish, combining for a total weight of 11 pounds 13 ounces, placing them in 68th out of 176 participants.

While the teams did not qualify for the final day of competition, they each expressed gratitude at having the chance to compete on the national stage.

Contact Derek Hatridge at dhatridge@mcalesternews.com.

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