Two Colquitt bass fishing teams qualify for state in season-opener

Jan. 22—MOULTRIE — In bitterly cold and windy weather last Saturday on Lake Seminole, two Colquitt County bass fishing teams qualified for the state championship tournament, including one that did it with just one fish.

The Packers' Jake Wilkes and Joseph Jackson turned in fifth-place finish with a five-fish limit weighing 12 pounds and 12 ounces.

CJ Bryant and Carl Brown Jr., with coach Will Stuckey as their boat captain, finished ninth after Bryant landed a remarkable 9-pound, 8-ounce bass.

Wilkes has now qualified for the state championships three straight years. Jackson will be going for the second year in a row.

"Those two guys complement each other real well," Stuckey said. "They pull each other along."

Bryant brought in what Stuckey says might be the biggest fish caught in a GHSA tournament. This is the fourth year that bass fishing has been an official GHSA-sanctioned sport.

He caught it in 6 feet of water out of Spring Creek using a rattle trap.

"It was an absolute giant," Stuckey said. "I just said 'Holy Cow!' I weighed it on the boat and it was 9 pounds, 4 ounces.

"We celebrated like three cheerleaders."

Stuckey said it was Bryant's personal best and biggest that a Colquitt County team has caught.

"CJ said he wanted to take it home and mount it," Stuckey said.

It was a rewarding end to a day that Stuckey said "never really warmed up."

It was 27 degrees with 25 mph wins when the six Packers teams started.

"We had ice on our boat until 9:30-10 o'clock," Stuckey said.

Of the 243 boats that launched at Bainbridge's Earle May Boat Basin, only 69 weighed fish. The others did not catch a scoreable bass or zeroed.

The top 30 boats qualified for the state championship, which will be held May 4 at Clarks Hill Lake.

Saturday's top finishers were Bainbridge High's Hayden Reynolds and Caleb Logue, who had five fish weighing 19 pounds, 10 ounces.

The other Colquitt County teams that competed on Saturday were Brayden Bell and Walker Story, who had 1 fish for 2 pounds, 3 ounces; Hayden Hamm and John Davis Summerlin, one fish, 1 pound, 11 ounces; Cole Thompson and Brayden Carter, one fish, 1 pound 14 ounces; and Haydyn Glass and Andrew Stanford.

The Colquitt County team will hold a club tournament on February 10, to help determine who will compete in the next qualifier, which will be held February 17 on Lake Oconee. The other two qualifiers will be held on March 16 at West Point Lake in LaGrange and on April 20 at Lake Hartwell in Lavonia.