Of the 102 high school and college teams that participated in the no entry fee, prize rich Quantum Next Generation Open event on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake, crankbaits were among the most popular choice of lures. And whether cast into shallow muddy water uplake, or dredged deep in the southern end’s clearer water, treble hooked diving plugs of both varieties eventually proved victorious.
The high school team of Noah and Micah Belt caught the highest winning weight overall with 17 pounds 8 ounces using Tennessee Shad colored shallow diving sqaurebill crankbaits tied to 12-pound Seaguar line.
“This is incredible. What an awesome event! Our family drove three hours up here to Grand from home, and rented a house on the lake to have sort of a vacation around the tournament, and to win is just unbelievable,” says Noah Belt, whose dad Lloyd served as their boat captain.
In great contrast, the highest winning weight posted by a college team was 13 pounds 8 ounces from much deeper cleaner water by Blaine Timonera and Colton Harper of the University of Oklahoma, who caught their fish in nearly 20-feet of water on a Strike King 6XD crankbait.
This fast growing event begins Saturday evening with a registration meeting featuring truckloads of free pizza, a chance to visit with pro angler Matt Lee, and a pitching contest. And by its conclusion on Sunday, nearly every team walks away with incredible prizes from Carhartt, Costa, Garmin, Honey Creek Tackle Store, Lowrance, PowerPole, Plano, Yamaha, and Quantum.
“As somebody who came up through the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, it just blows my mind how incredible the prizes are at this event, and the whole thing is just so well run and organized. It’s just awesome,” says Matt Lee.
The large team of Zebco Brands employees who graciously volunteer to organize this popular event are already making plans for the 2019 edition of the fast-growing tournament, and encourage all young anglers to follow Quantum.Fishing on Instagram for more details.