Southeast Mo. angler prepares to compete in national junior bass fishing championship

Southeast Mo. angler prepares to compete in national junior bass fishing championship

ORAN, Mo. (KFVS) - Bass fishing tournaments are still happening during the pandemic and one angler from the Heartland is heading to the national championship.

Eighteen-year-old Jake Phillips has fished most of his life.

“I’ve been a bunch of different places, but a lot of the time I go up to the private lake we lease outside Oran,” Phillips said.

He entered the Bassmasters Junior State Tournament as a way to spend time with a relative.

“My cousin texted me and just said, ’sign up for this and if you win, your state you can come up here and fish against me and a bunch of other guys’ and I was like why not, so I signed up for it and ended up winning,” Phillips said.

“I’ll be honest it was more of a ’I’m not expecting to win this’ but at the same time it’s not like it’s out of my reach.”

Now he’s preparing for the national championship in Idaho in October, but it’s not just an excuse to spend more time on the water.

“Besides just fishing, I gotta do a lot of research and I gotta do a lot of things, buy a lot of things for this tournament,” Phillips said.

“We went fishing on that lake and just kind of got a feel for it.”

He said he’s looking forward to the competition.

“I feel like I should be going up there to win so it’s a little nervous but I’m just gonna go out there and do the best I can,” Phillips said.

The Bassmasters Junior National Championship will be held October 2-3 in Idaho on the Priest River.

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