ESCANABA - The anglers of the BASS Nation State Championship overcame a weekend of wicked weather. The two-day tournament concluded Saturday in Escanaba.
Jarrod Sherwood of Team Bass took home first place overall in the tournament, bringing in 10 fish for a grand total of 36.95 pounds, and he will be the captain of the Northern Divisional team that will compete in Indiana in August 2014.
"I've fished at a lot of these, and it usually doesn't happen this way," Sherwood said. "Usually you don't catch the big ones when you need them. But I was lucky enough to find the school of fish that I needed."
Jarrod Sherwood displays two of his catches from the BASS Nation State Championship, Saturday, at Ludington Park in Escanaba. Sherwood took first place overall and will be the captain in Divisional competition.
He said this will be his second time to the Divisional team, but being in the position of captain will be a new experience for him.
"We had a great captain the last time," he said. "Hopefully, I can live up to his standards."
Brandon Rose, also of Team Bass, came in second with 10 fish for a total of 35.67 pounds. Paul Gohlke took third, coming in just behind Rose with 10 fish for a total weight of 33.40 pounds.
"It was a great tournament," Rose said. "Fishing was a bit different, (because) they didn't quite do what we expected and we had to adapt quite a bit. I didn't have any fish this morning and I didn't think I was going to do anything at all, but I went way south, almost to Green Bay, and found a group of fish down there."
Shawn Green, Billy Pfeiffer, Victor Cole, Steve Ohst, Greg Glasser, Edward Schiller, Jesse Weener, Scott Tyrell, Bill Head, and David Demott rounded out the 13 spots that will advance on to Divisional competition.
Pfeiffer said Saturday's events were better all-around for him compared to Friday.
"Today was like a whole new country," he said. "Everybody stayed dry today, which was good."
He added that he fishes simply for the passion of the sport, but he would still love to be a member of the Divisional team. However, that proves to be easier said than done at a competition of this level.
"You have almost 90 anglers up here, and you're not fishing with anybody with a cane pole, and a bobber," he said. "They're good; they all know what they're doing."
Michigan B.A.S.S. Nation President Paul Sacks said he was very happy with the outcome despite the downpour on Friday.
"The people of Escanaba have been phenomenal," he said. "With their help, we were able to put on a great tournament. Our anglers did a great job, and they were able to show the crowd a lot of fish. You have a historic fishery up here."
He added that they would bring the tournament back to Escanaba in a heartbeat.
"The locals have been so friendly," he said. "The restaurants and businesses have gone out of their way. We're going to pass the word out to other places to consider coming up here also."
Tournament coordinator Paul Wagner added the place and the people have been very impressive.
"It's world class," said angler Giulio Cogo in regards to the people of Escanaba.