TOURNAMENT FISHING -- Nik Autrey of Spokane’s Inland Empire Bass Club won the 15-18 year old division of the 2012 Junior Bassmaster World Championship in the 15-18 year old division on Oct. 27 in Alabama.
Autrey, 19, won the one-day event with 10 pounds 3 ounces of bass out of Wilson Lake near Decatur, Ala., topping a group of six junior anglers who advanced to the JWC through qualifying rounds on the local, state and divisional levels.
Autrey will be looking spiffy next time he goes fishing in his prize: a 16-foot Triton boat package with a Mercury outboard, MotorGuide trolling motor and Lowrance electronics.
To qualify for the Bassmaster event, Autrey had to win the Washington State title, then win the Western Division at Flaming Gorge.
From there he went to the world event against the five other Federation Nation/Bassmaster Division Champions to win the championship, which included one junior from South Africa.
Joel Nania of Spokane, who watched his son, Joey, step to the world podium as a teenager a few years ago before going pro, offered this insight on the caliber of Washington's youth anglers:
“Since the Junior Bassmaster inception in 2004, of the 18 available titles (nine in the 11-14 age group and nine in the 15-18 age group) kids from Washington State have won four of them, more than any other state!”
(Joey Nania 11-14 in 2005, Joey again 15-18 in 2008, Jake Cook from the Tri-Cities 15-18 in 2009 and now Nik in 2012).
Not bad coming from a state that tends to be all about salmon and trout!
See the Bassmaster story here.
See more photos here.