• Press Release

    Decatur Heritage Christian Academy Wins Alabama State High School Fishing Open on Wheeler Lake

    High School Fishing

    ROGERSVILLE, Ala. (June 9, 2014) – The Decatur Heritage Christian Academy team of Mitchell Gowen and Jonathan Cimino brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 23 pounds, 2 ounces to win the 2014 Alabama State High School Fishing Open on Wheeler Lake. The win advanced the team to compete in a future High School Fishing conference championship.

    The Decatur duo said that they targeted two specific ledges on Wheeler Lake, fishing 30 to 40 feet deep with deep-diving crankbaits.

    “We went to our first spot right away in the morning but it wasn’t producing like we had hoped,” Cimino said. “We moved to another community hole that we’d fished in the past and it had turned on. We spent the entire day there and caught well over 15 keepers. They were chomping everything.”

    “We’re both pretty familiar with Wheeler Lake,” said Gowen. “It’s our home lake and we get to fish it about 30 times a year. We’ve never been to Lake Nickajack before, but I’m really excited to experience a new lake and learn some new techniques. We hope to spend some time on the lake before the tournament and get some practice in.”

    The top three teams that advanced to the conference championship were:

    1st: Decatur Heritage Christian Academy – Mitchell Gowen and Jonathan Cimino, five bass, 23-2

    2nd: Hazel Green High/Pell City High School – Zeke Gossett and Ryan Shields, five bass, 20-13

    3rd: Cullman High Bassmasters– Lee Mattox and Mason Jones, five bass, 16-4

    Rounding out the top-10 teams were:

    4th: Eufaula High Bass Team – Dylan Pugh and Cole Burdeshaw, five bass, 12-13

    5th: Gardendale High School – Laura Ann Foshee and D.J. Barber, five bass, 11-5

    6th: Eufaula High School – Cassandra Gifford and Andy Moore, five bass, 9-5

    7th: Eufaula High Bass Team – Dozier and Amber Greer, five bass, 8-14

    8th: Plainview High School – Austin Brown and Bailey Dukes, four bass, 8-5

    9th: Harris County High School Fishing Team – Cal Culpepper and Chandler Lott, three bass, 6-14

    10th: James Clemens High School – Matthew Hand and Williams Stirling, five bass, 6-6

    Complete results can be found at

    The 2014 Alabama State High School Fishing Open was a two-person (team) event for students in grades 9-12. The top three teams from each SAF High School Fishing Open held this season will advance to a High School Fishing conference championship along with the top 10 percent of each state championship field. The top 10 percent of each conference championship field will then advance to the High School Fishing National Championship coinciding with the TBF National Championship and an FLW Tour stop in the spring of 2015. The High School Fishing national champions each receive a $5,000 college scholarship to the school of their choice.

    In addition to the High School Fishing National Championship, all SAF members nationwide automatically qualify for the world’s largest high school bass tournament, the 2014 High School Fishing World Finals, held on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Ark., on July 15-19. At the 2013 World Finals more than $40,000 in scholarships and prizes were awarded. Visit for details.

    About The Bass Federation

    The Bass Federation Inc., (TBF) is owned by those we serve and dedicated to the sport of fishing. TBF is the largest and oldest, organized grassroots fishing organization. TBF affiliated state federations and their member clubs conduct more than 20,000 fishing, youth and conservation events at the local level each year and have provided a foundation for the entire bass fishing industry for more than 40 years. Visit

    About FLW

    FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2014 over the course of 229 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. For more information about FLW visit and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.