On Nov. 9, West Columbia’s Tate Thrasher finished ninth in the Texas High School Bass Association’s area tournament at Sam Rayburn Lake.
A freshman at Columbia High School, Thrasher teamed with Christian Powell from Alvin High School so he could compete in the event this year.
“Yeah, Columbia doesn’t have a team, so my dad helped me get in over there,” Thrasher said.
An avid angler since he was quite young, bass fishing is one his favorites.
“It was awesome coming in ninth, because there were 133 teams in all, and we got ninth,” Thrasher said. “On that day, even before the sun was up, we had already caught four fish. One of those bass happened to be about a 6-pounder. But then we fished for about four hours trying to catch our fifth fish, but we could never catch one that we could keep.”
One of the tournament rules required each team to have a limit of five fish to weigh in, with the bass not exceeding 14 inches.
“Because we only had four fish, we didn’t think we were going to do good because Sam Rayburn Lake is a pretty good lake for competitive fishing,” Thrasher said. “So we went to the weigh-in, and when we first weighed them, we were sitting at about fifth place. But eventually some other teams came in and we made it to ninth. We were still happy because we still were in the top 10, and each one of us got a reel as a prize.”
Thrasher and Powell weighed in 11.98 pounds of fish. The first-place team caught 16.74 pounds.
“The first-place team won a scholarship, a plaque and a trophy,” Thrasher said. “Plus they moved on to the regionals and then possibly state after that.”
Thrasher and Powell tried everything possible to get a fifth bass in the boat.
“After catching those first four fish, we stayed at the same place for about 90 minutes and just worked all the grass lines and everywhere we could,” Thrasher said. “So then we moved to another spot where we had practiced during our practice day. There were a lot of fishermen there, but they were leaving, and we stayed and ended up not catching one. We then went to a deeper part of the lake where it’s like 20 feet deep and were throwing Carolina rigs and also didn’t catch anything.”
Besides enjoying fishing, Thrasher also hunts, doing both mostly with his father. At Columbia High School, Thrasher goes out for football, basketball, baseball, golf and track and field.
This was Thrasher’s first season to fish in the high school bass tournament. He is looking forward to next season.
“If you get to state you can win scholarships, and in these tournaments you can also win money,” Thrasher said.
Since Alvin High joined the Texas High School Bass Association, it had never placed a team in the top 10 until this year.