Karns High School Bass Fishing Team Celebrates Growth and Success


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WATE) – The Karns High School bass fishing team has spent the last year rebuilding itself. Today, more than a dozen teenagers compete on the water, including second-grader David Johnson.

“You want to try and find the best place you can in the morning because the morning is usually the best bite,” Johnson said.

For almost a year, he and his parents have been building fans on campus. They recruited FFA advisor Joshua Cameron to serve as the team’s school sponsor.

“I want these kids to be able to have that outlet and that was a way if they didn’t have a sponsor they won’t have that outlet, so I was happy to step in and play that role for them.” , Cameron said.

The program helps students find their place and their next adventure.

“I might not have a spot on the football, baseball, or basketball field, but fishing is something anyone can do and something everyone can get involved in and being able to win, have fun, create that team atmosphere that you always get and learn a lot of life lessons while you’re there, ”Cameron said.

An important point to remember, it is difficult to win big all the time in fishing, especially when competing in local tournaments against over 200 boats.

“Some tournaments where we weigh at least two to three fish,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s biggest catch came on the coast of South Carolina. He unexpectedly caught a shark, which he quickly released.

“It was pretty crazy rocking everything on the dock and stuff like that because I’ve never handled something that big, it was something else,” Johnson said.

Johnson and his teammates hope to attract more anglers following the recent growth and success of the program.

“Build. Make the team bigger. I want these kids to be able to participate, to win tournaments. They have colleges that come to evaluate as you see during football games. You have recruiters; the colleges come to watch these children,” Cameron said.

About fifteen teams participate in the program.

Cameron says they’re still looking for more sponsors. Support from sponsors helps pay for student equipment and tournament registration fees.

If you would like to support or join the Karns team, contact Cameron at 865-804-2605.

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