A Houston High School graduate has a chance to reel in the biggest prize in collegiate fishing.
Dalton Wilson, a 22-year-old junior at Bethel University, will compete next month in the 2013 Carhartt College Series National Championship. He and his partner are one of 68 two-angler teams who qualified for the Aug. 1-3 event on Chatuge Reservoir in northeast Georgia.
A strong finish at the college championship will put the finishing touches on a successful year for Wilson.
A 2009 HHS graduate, Wilson had two second-place finishes, two thirds and a fifth in B.A.S.S tournaments. He had an average finish of 3.3 on the circuit.
Wilson and Myles Palmer, both juniors at Bethel, qualified for the national championship by finishing third in the Southern Regional held Jan. 4-5 in Tavares, Fla.
“I’ve had an unbelievably consistent year,” Wilson said. “A lot of things went my way. I’ve weighed in a lot of the biggest bags I’ve ever had.”
The biggest test of the season lies ahead for Wilson. He said he has spent countless hours doing Internet research and studying topography maps of Chatuge Reservoir. The water has been off limits to competitors until a three-day official practice Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
“Anyone can go on a lake and catch fish,” Wilson said. “It’s about finding the fish that are the quality I need to win the tournament.”
Wilson said he will be looking for places fish are staging and feeding. The three days of practice will allow he and Palmer to put their research to work.
“A lot of people think fishing is going out, kicking back and sitting on a boat,” he said. “I played football all through high school, and I’ve got to admit, after I’m done with a tournament, I’m far more worn out than I ever was playing football.”
Teams will compete two days at the national championship with five-bass daily limits. The top five teams will advance to the final round to crown a winner.
WATCH LIVE RESULTS OF THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP AT WWW.BASSMASTER.COM OR FOLLOW WILSON ON FACEBOOK AT “DALTON WILSON FISHING.”