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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Heber anglers qualify for regionals

  • Heber Springs juniors Zach Ingram and Chase Gallaway caught four keepers in the first hour, using a quick strike start to place sixth out of 97 teams at the Arkansas State High School Fishing Championship held on Bull Shoals Lake.
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  • Heber Springs juniors Zach Ingram and Chase Gallaway caught four keepers in the first hour, using a quick strike start to place sixth out of 97 teams at the Arkansas State High School Fishing Championship held on Bull Shoals Lake.
    The duo finished with a five-fish total of 10.66 pounds to qualify for the regional competition set for Oct. 18-19 on the Red River at Shreveport, Louisiana.
    “Going into it we didn’t really know how do we would do. When we got those first five we were pumped,” said Zach, whose father Jim drove the boat but wasn’t allowed to help other than scouting.
    Prowling the Little Fork Creek section of Bull Shoals, Jim said they launched at 6:15 that morning and had their five-fish total by 8:45. They continued to fish the duration of the 8-hour tournament, but weren’t able to catch any more keepers as the sun warmed up and the fishing died down.
    Gallaway immediately began ripping lips. “We started out real hot. I caught three on the first four casts of the day. One keeper,” added Gallaway.
    Zach and Chase spend up to five days per week trolling the depths of Greers Ferry Lake looking for big largemouth bass. “I probably fish five times per week for pretty much all bass,” said Zach, who also plays basketball for the Panthers.
    “Usually if one of us is fishing the other is with them,” added Chase, who also plays for the Panther basketball and golf teams.
    With an abundance of smallmouth and clear, shallow water Bull Shoals presented a different challenge than Greers Ferry. “Bull Shoals you can see the rocks at the bottom. You can’t do that here on Greers Ferry,” said Gallaway. “The smallmouth are bigger up there and the majority of the good fish here are largemouth.”
    “More gravel and chunk rock here,” added Zach, who said they used drop shots, shaky heads and swim baits to lure the bass.
    Heber’s team is one of nine from Arkansas that qualified for the regional competition.
    The top nine teams were all within one and a half pounds of Highland duo Preston Wiles and Emma Johnson’s winning five-fish total of 11.57. Brooke Pace and Amy May from nearby Flippin placed second (11.3), while Beau Cantrell and Hunter Lawson of Lake Hamilton took third (10.99).
    Mount Ida, White Hall, Heber Springs, Anvil Jaw Junior Bass Club, Mountain Home and Watson Chapel also qualified for the Southern Conference Regional Championship, which consists of the top 10 percent out of each state.
    Zach said he likes fishing in shallow water and looks forward to the challenge in Louisiana. “Lord willing we will do good. It’s shallow, dirty water. That’s what I’d rather fish anyway.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Although Heber doesn’t have a sponsored high school fishing team, the two anglers are allowed to compete as individuals under the school name. “It helps [to have a school] team because you can get more sponsors,” said Chase, who hopes to utilize the skill to help receive a college scholarship. “It’s awesome most people aren’t as lucky. We are blessed God let us do it because it could play a huge factor in college and the rest of our life.”
    Zach aspires to make a career out of fishing. “I’m going to take it as far as I can take it. Hopefully make a living off it.”

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