Sambo Fish takes second in junior state championship

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fishing to some is a hobby, a way to relax. For others it is an obsession and even a career. For Sambo Fish, who will be a senior at Demopolis High School when classes resume next month, fishing falls somewhere between the two extremes.

Fish recently competed and placed second in the Alabama Junior State championship, a fishing tournament associated with Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS). His third year competing in the event, Fish has placed fourth, third and now second in his three-year run with the event.

Since his early beginnings, Fish has pursued knowledge of the sport, fishing with top local anglers like Bill Champion and Boyd Duckett, who recently won the Bassmasters Classic at Lay Lake. He has also been a co-angler for BASS tournaments, where he has learned techniques from professionals in the sport.

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After sharpening his skills growing up, Fish decided to try his hand at competitive fishing and has come away with good results. Along with his placing at the state tournament, Fish has won a tournament he fished with Champion and won one last October,r fishing with a friend.

Fish said to enter the state junior tournament a person age 11-18 must be a member of a junior club affiliated with BASS, and the tournament is broken down into two age groups, 11-14 and 16-18. He said he is a member of the closest club to Demopolis that qualifies, Dixie Junior Bassmasters out of Fayette, and with one last shot at the state junior tournament next year before his eligibility runs out, Fish is hoping he can walk away with the first place trophy.

Of course, he said he has already gained notoriety in the tournament and among members of the BASS circuit at this year&8217;s event without placing first. All off of a near catch that left many scratching their heads on the ramifications on the fish to the rule book had it made it to the boat.

Fish said the fish was on long enough and got close enough to the boat to determine it weighed close to five pounds. The rule problem came about over, had the fish been brought in the boat, whose fish it would be.

Fish said a lot of the professionals at the tournament were talking about the situation, and Fish&8217;s dad, Sam Fish said BASS will likely create a new rule over the odd occurrence.

Sambo Fish said the fish and another he almost caught earlier in the day could have made all the difference in the results of the tournament. His total weight for the tourney, which placed him second out of the 36 anglers in his age group, was 6.67 pounds, while first place weighed in at 7.74 pounds. Fish said he also brought in the second largest fish on the day, 3.32 pounds.

Fish said he only used two lures for the tournament, both of which brought in three to six fish apiece. In the morning, he used a Davis Swim Jig, which he used to skip under peers, and once the sun came up he used a Shaky Head.

With all of his success on the fishing front, Fish attributes his success to several people, who he said got him where he is.

Brandon Glover is the sports editor of The Times. He can be reached at