From Staff Reports
MONTICELLO — Winamac’s Greg Zellers recently won the 15-18 age group in the Indiana Bass Federation Youth State Championship for the at Lake Shafer.
His total weight with his 5-bass limit was 9.21 pounds. He won the tournament by 7 pounds over his next competitor.
With his win Zellers qualifies to fish the National Guard Junior World Championship in conjunction with the FLW Tour at the Red River in Shreveport, La., next summer. This will be his second trip to the Junior World Championship. In 2010 he won this tournament that was held at Lake Lanier in Atlanta, Ga., which was his first year competing in the 15-18 age group. This is his final year competing in the 15-18 age group.
Zellers found the best success using Bite Me Jig Heads and Dry Creek Tubes. He found fish in shallow structure. Each youth was paired with an adult boat captain who was not allowed to fish, but drove the boat when the large motor was on. Zellers’ boat captain was Bill Kelly from Monticello. In his retirement, Kelly works at Twin Lakes Fish & Game in Monticello.
In the younger age group (11-14 years), Shawn Zellers, Greg’s brother, was runner-up. His 4.10 pound weight was a few ounces shy of first place. Shawn did receive the Big Fish Award for his 2.11 pound smallmouth bass in his age group. His boat captain was retired Marine Jeff Thompson, from Lafayette.
Thompson is a representative for The Fish’n Rail by EPCO, a company that makes fishing boats handicap accessible.
There were five boys competing in each age group for the state title. These 10 youths were tops in points for their respective age groups in the Indiana Bass Federation Youth Trail. Their competitive season begins in May with a tournament scheduled each month throughout the state of Indiana. After fish are weighed in they are released back into the lake.
Ed and Sharon Hazel of Camby are the youth directors for the boys’ Bass Federation Youth Club. They organize and run the youth tournaments.
Greg also took part in a collegiate bass tournament that was held on Lake Shafer on Sept. 30. Greg was paired with Vincennes student Logan Bolin. Greg again brought in a 5-bass limit and he and Logan were 0.04 of a pound away from first place.