Wagoner High School anglers Garrett Barton and Braden Lankford stole the show this weekend when they weighed a massive 19.19-pound stringer of Grand Lake bass to win the 4th Annual Quantum Next Gen Open. Brad Lankford served as their boat captain and all three Wagoner natives said it was a day on the water they'll never forget.
Opting to focus a little deeper than most of the competition, Lankford and Barton used Quantum Smoke S3 reels and matching 7'2" heavy action rods to drag 12-inch Berkley Power worms in twelve to eighteen feet of water to catch their fish.
"This was our first year fishing the Quantum Next Gen Open and it's been a great experience," Lankford said. "We can't wait to come back!"
The Wagoner Bulldogs and the rest of the top 10 finishing teams left Wolf Creek Park with a boatload of great prizes donated from companies like Lowrance, Yamaha, Carhartt, Lure Lock, TH Marine, Mossy Oak, Toyota and Quantum.
All high school and college competitors received a FREE special edition Quantum Accurist shallow cranking rod among other registrations prizes for this no entry-fee event.
Rogers State University seniors Tanner Bracken (Business Management major) and Tyler Dunlap (studying Biology) took the top spot in the college division of this two-prong tournament celebrating all things youth fishing. The Hillcats relied on a topwater spook in the morning and then flipped deep brush piles in the afternoon to catch 11.82 pounds and bring home the win.
The fishing proved fickle for most of the nearly 90 boat field, as is often the case in September when faced with blue bird skies. While the fishing was tough, every angler in attendance left new Quantum gear and a smile. Major League Fishing and Quantum sponsored pros Matt Lee and James Watson were on-site to host the event and offer advice to the next generation of bass anglers.
"It's really incredible to see what Quantum puts on for these young anglers each year," Lee said. "College and high school fishing have a special place in my heart and I look forward to the Next Gen Open every year. No entry fee, free Quantum product just for registering, and the chance at thousands of dollars of prizes... it's a first class event."