Louisa fishermen angling for a state title

Brandon Bickley (l), boat captain Ed Hall, and Tyler Tinder proudly show off the five fish that earned the LCHS fishing club members a second place finish in a state qualifying tournament at Osborne’s Landing on Sept. 9.

Photo submitted by Margaret Swayse

Brandon Bickley (l), boat captain Ed Hall, and Tyler Tinder proudly show off the five fish that earned the LCHS fishing club members a second place finish in a state qualifying tournament at Osborne’s Landing on Sept. 9.
Photo submitted by Margaret Swayse

Two Louisa County High School students have earned a place at the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation of Virginia on Kerr Lake next spring following a second place finish in the first of three qualifying tournaments.

Held on Sept. 9 at Osborne’s Landing on the James River, the fishing tournament saw 34 teams of two from eight high schools competing for one of the coveted top five spots to qualify for the tournament next spring.

Tyler Tinder and Brandon Bickley pulled in the maximum five fish for  a combined weight of 10.72 pounds to earn their second place finish. The only duo to top them was Jacob Neff and Hayden Hedrick of Frederick County High School, with a weight of 11.01 lbs.

“It feels good, knowing there’s no pressure going forward,” Bickley said. “We don’t have to worry about not qualifying.”

The duo started preparing for the tournament the day before.

“We practiced on Friday so we could learn about the river and what the bass were keying into,” Tinder said.

Their preparation paid off. Using imitation crawfish lures and staying closer to shore, Bickley and Tinder managed to haul in their qualifying weight.

The pair is no stranger to fishing. Both say they go out two to three times a week to fish. They each find something different to enjoy about the activity.

“I love the peace and quiet and enjoying nature with my friends,” Tinder said. “I like tournament fishing because I can compete and showcase my skills.”

For Bickley, a big part of the appeal comes from the adventure of it.

To read the entire story, see the Sept. 21 edition of  The Central Virginian.