Drake Baur has learned a lot about fishing as a member of the Arlington Martin bass fishing team. But how to land a big catch is still a bit of a mystery to him.
In his recently completed sophomore season, he reeled in his most impressive bass — a fish weighing more than four pounds — at the season’s first tournament at Lake Lewisville. As the time was nearing 1 p.m., he and teammate Jayden Fairchild were winding down their efforts and goofing off. On a whim, Baur cast the line behind him, not really thinking anything would come of it.
But he quickly had a bite — and the fierce challenge of trying to haul it in from 30 or more yards out. “It happens when you least expect it,” Baur said.
Martin anglers are accumulating plenty of big fish tales. The team won the regional championship in April at Lake Palestine in east Texas. Three of Martin’s fishing duos placed in the top 25 overall out of a field of 259. Seniors Colin Nailor and Caden August, who graduated earlier this month, won a $1,000 scholarship for their sixth-place finish at the tournament.
They’ll get out there and they’ll fish the whole time. They won’t give up. It can be a cold and miserable time. They can be tired. Whatever it is.
- Faculty sponsor Rachael Peterson, on rising anglers Maci Langford and Payton Smith
The Martin pairing of seniors Josh Soroka and Jackson Hall, who also graduated in June, won $1,000 in scholarship money as the West Division Angler of the Year award winners. The freshman girls duo of Maci Langford and Payton Smith, who will be sophomores in the fall, finished seventh overall in the Angler of the Year standings. Unlike other high school sports, girls fishing duos compete in the same tournaments as the boys. And some of the pairings have one girl and one boy.
Rachael Peterson, faculty sponsor for the Martin bass fishing team, said the team will need to have the younger anglers step up next season to fill the void left by the graduation of those talented seniors. But anglers like Langford and Smith give her confidence that the program can continue to thrive.
“They’ll get out there and they’ll fish the whole time,” Peterson said of Langford and Smith. “They won’t give up. It can be a cold and miserable time. They can be tired. Whatever it is.”
The weather varies. But one thing is always the same. The tournaments start early. The boats hit the water around 4:30 a.m. Courtney Peterson, Rachael Peterson’s daughter, is one of the Martin anglers who qualified for regionals back in the spring. The younger Peterson, who will be a junior in the fall, has gotten used to those pre-dawn starts.
“I’ve grown to like mornings,” Courtney Peterson said. “I play golf, too, so I have to wake up super early for that.”
Aaron Reimer, who will be a junior in the fall, made it to state with fishing partner Devin Pearcy by finishing in the top 50 percent of teams at regionals. A strong cold front and accompanying winds made for a rough morning of fishing at regionals. But even the challenging days can be fun, Reimer said. Plus, those crazy days on the lake give the young anglers another story to share.
“I think it’s a good sport, because it’s an after school event and kids can get together and talk about fishing,” Reimer said.
Zach Dixon, a junior to be, came close to hauling in numerous five-pound bass at regionals. Dixon and fishing partner Bailey Manasco, his stepbrother, were using a technique of fishing around lily pads. Dixon had trouble keeping those fish on the line and getting them into the boat. But he isn’t too down about it. There’s always the next time.
“Whenever you get the fish in the boat, it’s just a relief and it feels good,” Dixon said. “I don’t know about everyone else, but it makes me happy.”
The Arlington Martin baseball team cleaned up in the District 4-6A postseason honors, with Tristen Lutz named MVP, Spencer Sackett named Defensive MVP, Kenneth Waller named Pitcher MVP and Kurt Wilson named Newcomer.
Kameron Well of Arlington Lamar was named Freshman MVP.
Arlington’s first team selections were Zach Bailey and Jaret Granger. Lamar’s was Kie Lancaster. Bowie’s was Nick Johnson, and Martin’s was Maddoz Miller.
The Arlington-Mansfield Area YMCA is registering for a youth soccer camp for ages 5-14 to be held Aug. 7-10 at the Cooper Street YMCA.
Participants will learn new skills and drill on fundamentals, emphasizing teamwork and sportsmanship. Players must bring shin guards, a water bottle and a soccer ball.
The Arlington Parks and Recreation Department is hosting adult summer leagues for basketball, volleyball, kickball and flag football.
Volleyball registration is open and closes on June 25. Registration for basketball and kickball opens July 1, and flag football registration begins on Aug. 1.
Team fees range from $220 to $375.
Stephen English: firstname.lastname@example.org, @sbenglish74