MISD: Old School Meets New School
The Texas High School Bass Association Houston Division Tournament held at Toledo Bend on Saturday, December 3rd, has been circled in red on the calendar since the date came out last year. The reason being, is that it was a tournament much like this one held a week after a major holiday in 2019, which broke the string of Divisional Championships for the MISD Fishing Team. That particular year, there was a THSBA Divisional Tournament held on Sam Rayburn the week after Christmas break in January of 2019, where the MISD Fishing Team had its worst Tournament performance in a Divisional Tournament, coming in 7th place out of 46 High Schools, losing critical points to the eventual 2019 Divisional Champs Huffman-Hargrave.
That was then, and this is now, and the anglers from MISD were determined to not allow this to happen again. Many Teams practiced hard over the Thanksgiving break, putting in the time needed to locate fish, but upon interviewing the top finishing Team from MISD after the Tournament, I would have to say none more than the current Top Team in the Division of Curtis McCauley and Nate Millner.
This pair put in multiple days of preparation to get themselves “dialed in.” The pattern that they put together of fishing deep offshore brush piles with Umbrella Rigs was a conglomeration of “old school” meets “new school.” The “Old School” portion of this equation comes in the way of their Captain, retired B.A.S.S. & FLW Touring Pro Sean Hoernke. He used the time-tested approach of as he put it, of “looking for the birds.” He went on to say that “where they were able to find groups of birds, that they knew bait was close, as the birds relied upon feeding on groups of shad, much the same as the Bass.”
Then, this is where the “New School” expertise of Curtis and Nate came into play with their proficiency on the new electronics of this day and age, particularly forward-facing sonar. Using this technology, they were able to detect sub surface schools of bait as they approached the brush piles in 25 feet of water. The pair would then swim their Umbrella Rigs past the brush piles which mimics bait balls, and watch the bass shoot up from the brush pile to attack their baits. This approach led them to a 5 Bass limit of 17.58 pounds, and a 2nd place finish out of 151 Individual Teams.
Following close behind was Colton Hatzold for 4th place with a 5 Bass limit of his own, tipping the scales at 15.65 pounds, with the big fish of the tournament, a 5.17-pound beauty. This was all the more impressive, as Colton fished solo for this tournament.
Tanner Gatewood and Zane Dixon rounded out the top 3 Teams from MISD with a solid limit of their own, which weighed 10.15 pounds, landing them in 9th place. All told, the top three bags of fish brought to the scales weighed a whopping 43.38 pounds, easily outdistancing 2nd Place College Station by over 15 pounds!
With this victory at Toledo Bend, your MISD Fishing Team sits alone atop the Houston Division in 1st place after the fall events.