The Hartley’s Hawgs Team of Nathan and Brett placed 10th out of 398 teams in 2021 World Championship and 10th out of 236 teams in the 2021 National Championship. This event was put on by the Student Angler Federation and is a unique dual-format event as described in the Tournament Flowchart. As a result of their finish, Nathan and Brett won $68k in scholarship offers!
The Hawgs had three teams travel down to Anderson, South Carolina to compete in the event. All three teams did a great job and represented the Hartley’s Hawgs very well and showed how strong Central Ohio Youth Fishing is. Braden and Mike had a strong tournament and finished 22nd in the National Championship standings. The team of Dylan and Grant also had a strong outing. Dylan showed some great resolve and gritty determination finishing out the final few days of the event fishing solo due to some unexpected issues with his partner that required he travel back to Ohio.
These Hawgs Teams could not do it without the generous support of the volunteer boat captains. For this event the captains were: Former Hartley’s Hawgs member and current 2K Jigs Angler Colten Didion, Club Adviser Karl Guegold, and Mike Richmond. Thanks to these boat captains and all the parent volunteers for all they do for the club.
The teams travelled down to South Carolina on Saturday, June 26th and had 2-1/2 days of prefishing/practice days and then 3 full days of competition with Nathan/Brett and Dylan also competing on the 4th day (World Championship Saturday, July 3, 2021). The daily bag limit for each day was 3 fish. Below is some additional info and pics/videos from each day of competition. The links below provide final results from the National Championship and World Championship. Also below are some write-ups on the Major League Fishing website about each Championship.
- 2021 High School Fishing National Championship Final Results
- 2021 High School World Championship Final Results
- 2021 High School Fishing National Championship Article
- 2021 High School Fishing World Championship Article
Day 1 (Wednesday, June 30, 2021)
Day 1 was a warm/muggy South Carolina day with very little wind. Braden and Mike drew an early boat number and took advantage with a strong day 1 bag of 8#-6 oz. Nathan/Brett and Dylan/Grant drew late boat numbers and both teams struggled a bit more to get on some bigger fish but both brought 3 fish limits to the scales.
Day 2 (Thursday, July 1, 2021)
Day 2 was another warm/muggy day but day 2 brought significantly more wind. Day 2 was a great day for Nathan and Brett as they brought back a 3 fish limit of fish weighing in at 13#-10oz including a 6#-14oz kicker. This bag turned out to be the 2nd heaviest bag weighed during the entire event and the big fish was the 2nd biggest fish weighed in for the event. Braden and Mike had a solid Day 2 weighing a three fish limit of 6#-0oz.
Day 3 (Friday, July 2, 2021)
The weather changed on Day 3 with overcast conditions and rain. Day 3 had all 398 boats on the water with the top 10 in the National Championship Standings launching first and competing for the National Championship Title. All the other boats were out competing for the remaining spots in the World Championship Finals to be held on Saturday. One of the great things about this event is that every morning started of with a prayer and the National Anthem. Below is a video of the National Anthem. Each day the local Fire Department came out with a ladder truck displaying the Flag for everyone to honor.
With Nathan and Brett being in the top ten in the National Championship they were interviewed before launch and were mic’d up for the day and followed around by camera boats for an upcoming TV Show. What an experience for the boys. Below is their launch video:
Day 3 was a humbling experience for Nathan and Brett. After the big Day 2 results they did not have any fish to weigh in on Championship Friday. They were fishing for big bites to make up some weight as the National Championship was total for the 1st three days of competition. Braden/Mike and Dylan were also out on the water on Friday looking to secure one of the remaining 20 spots in the World Championship Finals. They did not get on the fish they needed to secure a spot in World Championship but they still showed out and represented the Hartley’s Hawgs well.
At the end of Day 3 the Student Angler Federation had a pizza party for all tournament attendees. During the party they handed out special prizes for all the graduation seniors and also had a raffle (Lucky Dog Drawing) for the final participant in the World Championship Field to compete on Saturday. After facing a ton of adversity thru the week it was great to see Dylan win the lucky dog drawing putting him in the field of 31 boats competing for the World Championship on Saturday. Dylan was one excited young man! By placing in the top 10 in the National Championship field Nathan and Brett also made the cut to fish in Saturday’s World Finals. The Hawgs placed two boats in the finals out of a field of 398.
Day 4 (Saturday, July 3, 2021)
The only boats competing on Day 4 was the World Championship field consisting of 31 boats. After Friday’s overcast and rain came thru Saturday was a beautiful sunny day and was by far the coolest day of the entire week with morning temps in the low 60’s and high temp being in mid 80’s with low humidity. The World Championship had all the weights from previous days competition zeroed out so the World Championship was a one day derby for the title. Nathan/Brett and Dylan blasted off with high hopes for a big bag of fish. It was great to see the fellow Hartley’s Hawgs Team of Braden/Mike come out to support the boys at blastoff. Below are some videos and pictures from the morning.
Nathan and Brett had a good day on Championship Saturday and brought back a 3 fish limit weighing 8#-2oz and Dylan weighed 2 fish for 2#-10oz. Congratulations boys on your great results and congrats to all the winners and other high finishers in the World Championship. The boys were able to chat with many of the teams and shared many fish stories. Below are some videos and pictures:
Below are some pictures from after the event. It was a great time with many lifelong memories made.
On the final day of competition one tip that Nathan shared was that the boys caught most of their fish on a fluke after trying topwater baits and having several fish roll on the topwater and not get hooked. Prior to the event Nathan had been researching some different ways to rig up flukes to increase hookups in open water situations. He came across this great video from Mike Iakonelli. Nathan and Brett used this rigging technique and it really helped them out especially during Saturday’s fishing….
Finally, wanted to give a big Thank You to Knox Marine! Not only are they sponsors of the Hartley’s Hawgs Fishing Club but they also are really great people. Knox Marine helped troubleshoot Nathan & Brett’s boat on Day two of practice when the engine wouldn’t start. They took the time to talk us thru the troubleshooting over the phone and got us back up and running with only around an hour of down time (we were getting ready to get off the water and take it to a local shop). Again, big Thanks to Knox Marine!. We made it up to see them after we returned to Ohio for our regular maintenance visit and was able to snap the below picture.