Competing against the nation’s best young anglers, Dalton Wilson finished 15th at last month’s Junior Bassmaster World Championship at Syracuse, N.Y.
Wilson could have finished higher in the field of 43, but the first fish he caught died. He was forced to count it among the five fish he weighed for his total of 12 pounds, 5 ounces.
Kyle Harrigan of New Jersey won the event with a total a 16-pound, 1 ounce mixed bag of largemouth and smallmouth bass. If Wilson could have replaced his dead fish with one that weighed only 2 pounds, he would have vaulted into the top seven.
Wilson and his father, Jimmy, flew to Syracuse 10 days before the tournament to practice on New York’s Onondaga Lake. The event was held Aug. 10.
Anglers competed in two age divisions, 11-14 and 15-18, fishing from the same boat operated by a Bassmaster Elite Series. The Junior World competitors were randomly paired with pros at a celebration the Friday night before the tournament and used Saturday as a practice day on Onondaga Lake. All earned the right to compete in the championship by fishing events on local and regional levels.
The weigh-in was broadcast live on Bassmaster.com and each competitor was photographed with BASS founder Ray Scott after weighing their catches.
Onondaga Lake is located on the outskirts of Syracuse and is five miles long and one mile wide.
The Junior Bassmaster World Championship showcases the top youth anglers in the world and provides them the opportunity to fish competitively under BASS – the most visible tournament structure in the world.