HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Harrison County school reeled in quite an impressive catch over the weekend: A state championship trophy. The school captured the coveted title in a Mississippi fishing tournament.
"What's a fish doing in a trophy case? That's pretty cool," one teacher commented.
The fish trophy is catching a lot of attention at West Harrison High School.
"I was excited," said freshman James Willoughby.
"I think he texted me, and I was headed back home, and he was like, 'Dude, we got a trophy,'" said senior Brandon Lindsay.
Both students helped reel in the state championship prize. They are members of the school's Bass Club, which formed just this year. They took on more than 100-teams in the Mississippi High School Bass Nation Tournament.
"They went against people who had a lot more experience and had a lot more money in it. So, I was really proud of how well they did," said team sponsor Tim Shaw.
"Pretty incredible," said Brandon.
The competition consisted of six tournaments, each with a five-fish limit. The schools earned points by adding up the weight of their entire catch for all the tournaments. West Harrison tipped the scale at 817 pounds after the points were tallied in the final round Saturday in Jackson.
When asked how they won the tournament, James replied, "Really big swim bait helped me. I caught one close to five pounds on it this tournament."
"I just use crank bait for more than half the day," said Brandon.
The guys got hooked on freshwater fishing at a young age. It was actually James who came up with the idea to start the Bass Club at his school.
"I figured I like doing it, and I know you can get scholarships from doing it," James said.
Now, they are ready to tackle their next challenge. Trying to lure more students to join the club next year.
"I was excited to actually get it started in the school. I'm happy. I hope it goes on," said James.
If you're interested in joining the club, the school will hold a recruiting meeting in early August. Each team must own its own bass boat and meet liability insurance requirements.