Landrum High School fishing team wins state youth championship

Published 2:22 pm Friday, April 21, 2017

LANDRUM – The Landrum High School (LHS) fishing team returned home with first place after winning in the S.C. Youth Bass Fishing Championship at Lake Murray on Saturday, March 25.

According to Cheryl Rathburn, mother of LHS freshman and fishing team member Doug Rathburn, the team placed first in the bass fishing tournament with a combined weight of 33.19 pounds between the two boats that entered into the competition.

As individual teams, Rathburn explained the boats placed second and forth but their combined weight placed them at first.

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Landrum High School senior Tyler Dukes, in his first year on the team, received first place in the “Big Fish” category with his fish weighing in at 5.52 pounds.

“Within the first 10 minutes, my partner and I had caught about 12 pounds with three fish. He caught two of them within his first five casts,” Dukes recalled. “My first cast, after switching baits, I threw it across the bank and we got the fish in the boat and realized how big it was.”

Dukes received a $200 scholarship for his win and said he “was a nervous wreck” after the bass catch.

“I stood there for 10 minutes, just shaking,” Dukes recounted. “I didn’t think I would win big fish with him. I was a nervous wreck. I was expecting a bigger fish to come through there and it just never did.”

Going to Clemson University or the University of South Carolina and competing at the college level is a dream for Dukes. He added he was convinced by his friend and LHS junior Cole Rogers to join the team.

Rogers has been on the team for three years and this was his second championship.

He recounted fishing with his dad as a kid, which resulted in him wanting to join the team in high school.

“My dad always took me out fishing as a kid and I loved it,” Rogers recalled. “I tried out and, during your first tournament, you’re a basket case and you’re nervous because there’s so much adrenaline. I can’t get enough of it.”

– written by Micheal O’Hearn