UWG duo wins state bass title
by DOUG GORMAN
Newnan resident Kenny Johnson and Brandon Larry are making names for themselves on the college bass fishing circuit.
The two West Georgia University students recently led the college’s bass fishing team to the Carhartt Bassmasters state championship with a four-fish catch of 13 pounds, 13 ounces on Lake Harding in Alabama.
More than 20 other college bass clubs from Georgia participated.
Johnson, who recently founded the bass fishing club at West Georgia, and Larry edged out the more established second-place University of Georgia club for the victory.
Despite a five-fish limit, Johnson and Larry only caught four fish, but still weighed in with the winning total.
“It is really exciting,” Johnson said. “We had to weigh in last, and since we only had four fish, we didn’t think we were going to make it.”
After completing the day of fishing, the college tournament participants made the short trek across the state line and did their actually weigh-ins back in Georgia at West Point Lake where a pro Bassmasters tournament was being held at the same time.
“It was really great to be able to weigh in with the pros,” Johnson said.
Unlike some of the bigger college bass clubs, sponsorship is limited at West Georgia, but that could be changing after Johnson and Larry’s showing at the recent tournament.
After their victory, a representative of Yamaha Boats approached the winning team with a proposal that could allow the West Georgia to use one of its boats in future tournaments.
“That would be really great if we could work this out,” Johnson said. “We have had a little bit if sponsorship, but nothing like this. This could really change things for us.”
Even before winning this tournament, Johnson and Larry finished 10 out of 120 teams at the College Series Regional Tournament in Florida earlier this spring.
That top-10 finish secured Johnson and Larry’s spot in the national bass championships at the Chatuge Reservoir near Young Harris.
That tournament takes place Aug 1-3.
“Some big things are happening,” Johnson said. “Our bass club is really growing.”