CHIPLEY, Fla. (WMBB) – Two Chipley anglers placed third at the Bassmaster Junior National Championship on Tuesday.
Ninth-grader Kasen Pemberton and eighth-grader Hunter Prough placed first in the Florida Junior Bassmaster Competition over summer before competing in the national one.
Even though they are both from Chipley, they compete for the Liberty County Anglers team.
At the final weigh in at the national competition in Huntingdon, Tennessee on Tuesday, their two-day total was 12-3, just one pound shy of first place.
They came back to win third as they were in sixth place at the end of day one.
“They called our name out, third place, we were really surprised cause like I said we were behind and once that happened, it was a pretty remarkable thing for sure,” Pemberton said.
They both were shocked they actually were able to jump three spots by the final weigh-in.
“Like woah, I can’t believe we just jumped that high, in a really small pond. It was pretty crazy,” Prough said.
Proud and Pemberton said they make a great team and hopefully will get to compete together again in the near future.
“He was a good teammate, if one of us was playing down there on the floor board with a worm trying to get it on, the other one would be up their fishing. If he gets a fish on, I’d drop everything and get the net. He’d more than likely keep fishing and Dad and I would start calling fish,” Prough said.
Prough’s dad was actually their boat captain for the day and is the reason Prough got into fishing. He said his dad used to compete in tournaments all the time.
“It meant the world to me to know he was right there by my side. Ever since I was little he’d take me out on boats and go fishing. Just watching him and how he does it inspired me to go out there and compete in fishing tournaments,” Prough said.
The two won an $800 scholarship from the third place finish. They hope the big win will help them bring a fishing team to Chipley as they currently have to travel to Liberty County for theirs.
“We would like a team in Chipley that way we could fish with our close friends so we wouldn’t have to fish with our distant friends over there an hour away,” Pemberton said.
Pemberton and Prough said they wanted to thank their amazing sponsors for helping them get to this point, Auto Clinic of Marianna, Polar Insulation, Reaction Innovations, King’s Discount Drugs and Ezy-Glide.
“All the work we’ve put in and all the long days cause on that little pond we were fishing it was definitely real hard, we knew that if we worked hard and caught every fish like we did we were gonna be able to pull something off,” Pemberton said.