Things went so well in 1975 with the first annual North Louisiana High School Bass Tournament that we came back for more in 1976. The first tournament drew 160. The second drew 188. It was the start of something pretty big in our area. Over the next 20 years, nearly 4,000 high school fishermen took part in the event on Lake D’Arbonne. The original event was sponsored by the Monroe newspaper and three employees – myself, J.C. Zagone and Johnny Gunter, somehow put the thing together and kept it running.
Here’s a report from year two:
* Neville’s Mike Lemoine and Woody Smithey caught 14 pounds, 3 ounces to win the tournament. They edged out Jeff Jordan and Jim Armstrong of Ridgedale with 11-8. For their win, they took hom two near Lews’s Speed Sticks, $50 lure packets from Balsa B, Mister Twister and American Lure & Tackle and other prizes worth $300. High school bass fishing hit the big-time!!!!!
* Lemoine, Smithey, Corky Davis and David Finley caught 21-12 altogether to give Neville the school team trophy.
* Bastrop’s Jimmy Farrar and Kevin Reynolds finished third while Farmerville’s Rem Kennedy and Mark Campbell were fourth. Defending school champs Ruston had only one entry, but David Johnson and Scott Thompson finished sixth.
* Grady Rhinehart of Bastrop won the big jackfish trophy.
* Stan Johnson and Pat Antley of West Monroe won the coaches division followed by Frank Zametto and Ed White of Bastrop; Mickey Fontana and James Johnson of Southside and Cedar Creek’s Jimmy Butler with the big bass of the tournament, 4-3.
We’ll have more on prep bass tourneys tomorrow — including a writeup about the tournament’s first singles event and the winner. If you fished in the high school bass tournament and have a memory to share, please click on the comment button below and let us know what it is. THANKS!