High school angler makes bass fishing history

Kanawha County teen makes bass fishing history

By Chris Lawrence in Outdoors | October 20, 2018 at 12:52PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It’s been quite a year for Nitro High School Senior Dylan Fitzgerald. Dylan is a longtime competitor in the youth events for the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation in West Virginia. However, he’s also the two time reigning high school champion for B.A.S.S. in West Virginia.

Earlier this month, he extended his impressive fishing resume when he made the rest of the state’s adult anglers stand up and take notice. Dylan, at age 17, won the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation State Championship Tourney on Sutton Lake.

“You can’t beat catching fish on a moving bait or on topwater,” Fitzgerald told me on last weekend’s West Virginia Outdoors. “But if I had to pick a style, I’d have to go with finesse fishing because that’s what you need to do around here where our waters are so heavily pressured.”

During the state championship Dylan qualified as a non-boater, meaning he was somewhat at the mercy of his boating partner. Although the rules of the tournament give each angler control of the boat half the day, Dylan wisely chose to let his adult partner lead the way.

“I was content to fish in the back of the boat and we were fishing 30 feet of water,” he explained. “I generally don’t fish in water that deep.”

He started with a drop shot rig, but soon switched over to a jig and saw immediate success.

“I caught two fish really fast,” he said. “I didn’t put it down for the rest of the day.”

Honed in on the jig bite from day one, Fitzgerald’s confidence was soaring. However, one of the key factors in the tournament trail is how quickly you can adapt to change. His partner on Day 2 had a radically different plan. He was on fish in the upper reaches of the lake where the water was dirty and the fish were more shallow….Full Story