, Muskogee, OK

July 21, 2013

Hilldale anglers hit a wall in tourney finals

By Mike Kays
Phoenix Sports Editor

— The honey hole came up dry for a Hilldale High School duo competing in the High School Fishing World Finals at Rusellville, Ark., on Saturday.

After leading the entire field in Friday’s competition, Josh Giem and Blake Capps found the going tough 24 hours later, taking a mere 9 pounds to the scales. They had to settle for 16th place among the 20 teams that qualified  for the finals out of the previous three rounds.

“The big fish moved,” Capps said, referring to a ledge where they caught two fish weighing 11 pounds on Friday, helping them to the 18 pound, 5 ounce haul. “We caught seven off of it but they just weren’t big.”

The first two days their catches were 10-14 and 11-13 while fishing Lake Dardanelle and the Arkansas River channel.

Rainy conditions met the tournament for the first time on Saturday.

“Maybe that had something to do with it, I don’t know,” Giem said. “Every day was sunny so it was a different condition and both those days, even when we didn’t hit what we did on Friday, we lost a few good ones. There were no good ones today.”

Trevor Jeffers and Hunter Bragg of South Carolina won the event with 19 pounds, 11 ounces in the finals.

The locals will move on to a regional event they qualified off of by winning a state title in the spring. That event is set for Lake Texoma in October.