High school rivalry extends to bass fishing

County rivalry extends to fishing

Everybody in central Arkansas knows about the Salt Bowl high school football game between Benton and Bryant, but that rivalry also extends to the water.

Since 2016, the schools have also competed for bass fishing supremacy.

Benton won the 2nd Fish Bowl on Saturday at Hurricane Lake in Saline County. Its three teams brought 13 fish to the scales that weighed 26.64 pounds. Benton’s heaviest stringer, caught by Ryan Mozisek and Chandler Holcomb, weighed 12.3 pounds.

Bryant High School fielded only two teams because boat trouble forced its third squad to withdraw. Bryant tallied 10 bass that weighed 18.45 pounds.

Along with Mozisek and Holcomb, Nick Ward, Richard Shamlin, Will Musteen and Bryson Kindy represented Benton. Ken Kaczmarek was their coach.

Representing Bryant were Brandon Davis, Ethan Thompson, Cory Shields and Hunter Howard. Jason Scoggins was the coach.

The Fish Bowl was established in 2016 as an adjunct to the Salt Bowl rivalry.

Kolby Stoll of Bryant is a ninth-grader who fishes on Bryant’s team. His father Scott Stoll said anglers look forward to competing in the Fish Bowl, which features each school’s top three teams based on points from the previous year.

“They came up with the Fish Bowl to add another element to the Benton-Bryant rivalry,” Stoll said. “The kids are pumped up about it. It’s a big deal for them to finish in the top three in points so they can fish in it the following year.”

As with any rivalry, bragging rights are important, but the Benton-Bryant rivalry is a notch above most. The communities look for any edge.

“It’s good-natured, but it’s typical fishermen,” Stoll said. “There’s the typical ribbing one another back and forth. It’s a fun rivalry.”

Many volunteers donate time, material and other resources for the event, Stoll said, including the Hurricane Lake Estates Property Owners Association. Hurricane Lake is privately owned, but the association allowed the teams to fish there for the event.

“We couldn’t put this on without the Hurricane Lake Estates Property Owners Association,” Stoll said. “They volunteered their time and their lake, and they cooked food for everybody there.”

The anglers caught most of their fish on topwater baits in the morning while the sun was low. Mozisek said bass were schooling over grass flats, and that he and Holcomb caught their limit by 8:30 a.m., on bone-colored River2Sea Whopper Ploppers and white Zara Spooks….Read More