Tift Co. anglers reel in top 10 finish - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Tift Co. anglers reel in top 10 finish


Bass fishing may not be a GHSA sanctioned sport, but that isn't stopping the Tift County Blue Devils from fielding a team.

In fact, that team is reeling in results.

The Blue Devil duo of Taylor Woodall and Colt Garren finished 10th out of 85 teams at the Student Angler Federation's Sam Rayburn Open in San Augustine, TX last weekend.

Woodall and Garren brought in five fish, weighing in at 11 lbs., 12 oz.

This is only the second year of the Blue Devils' angler program, but Woodall and Garren already seem to be grizzled veterans.

They say they're strategy in Texas was to just fish, and once they reeled in the first one, things took off from there.

"We went out there to have fun," says Woodall. "Just laid back and catching fish."

"That's always the hardest part is trying to catch the first fish," adds Garren. "Once you break the ice on the first fish, it just goes away from there, and you start catching them."

Two other Tift County anglers, Dylan Merritt and John Tucker, also competed in Texas. That team finished in the top 60, pulling in two fish at 4.6 lbs.

Now the duo and their coach, Bruce Begue, are hoping their results will push the GHSA to look at adding bass fishing as a sanctioned sport.

Two other states, Kentucky and Illinois, have sanctioned bass fishing as a varsity sport.

Begue hopes Georgia will follow suit.

"Other states are adopting it into their high school organizations, and I think it'd be a great thing to tie it in with that," Begue says. "Because not everybody can play soccer, not everybody can play basketball or football. It gives that kid in your school who might be in trouble grade wise an incentive to stay in school."

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