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Father and son team hail in 15 lb. 15 oz. catch in fishing tournament

The Testers dominated Watauga Lake again last Friday night, hauling in a 15 pound 15 ounce catch to take home first place in a Classic Tournament hosted by the Mountain City Bass Anglers Club. Father and son teams from the Dry Hill Community, Doyle and Craig Tester have a reputation for knowing the hotspots on many of the area’s surrounding lakes. With Watauga being so close to home they did not disappoint.
Leaving at 7:00 pm Friday evening from the Milligan boat ramp and returning at 4:00 am Saturday morning, the tournament was longer than most, but with a strong turnout of 25 boats and a total prize purse of more than $5000, the tournament was a big success. There were payouts for all positions but officials estimated that the first place ranking would bring in about $500 and there were $200 prizes on biggest smallmouth and largemouth caught for the evening.
The tournament cost $60 to enter and although the Testers took top position there were still several notable performances through the night. Notably one of the biggest competitions ended up being between brothers Shawn and Robert Wills to bring in the biggest smallmouth. Robert and his teammate Rick Clunn were the first to weight in, landing a five pound two ounce smallmouth, but the final victory went to Shawn and his teammate Joe Dugger who wound up just a few ounces ahead with their five pound, five ounce fish.
“Its fished better tonight than it has in the past couple of weeks. I don’t know if it was the stable weather or not, but tonight we fished really well. We had been struggling, and this was probably the most fish we have caught in a month here. We were pleased to finally break that tough streak,” said Shawn Wills.

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