Colby Gurka and Maddox Parker have been schoolmates since kindergarten.
So it’s no surprise the Anderson-Shiro High School freshmen were boatmates during the first tournament of the Texas High School Bass Association season.
Gurka caught the only two keepers at the Lake Conroe event for the school, which was represented by six other boats as well.
The keepers weighed 7.29 pounds, as the boys finished 10th among 139 teams. Each boy received a $20 Academy gift card and a reel as a prize.
“It was very exciting,” Parker said. “We had no idea what was going to happen.”
The boys have been fishing recreationally for many years. During the week Gurka said he fishes “quite often,” mostly at “ponds around where I live.”
To prepare for the tournament, the boys traveled to Lake Conroe the weekend before the tournament to search for ideal fishing spots. They fished in Parker’s boat with guidance from Aubrie Schroeder, Gurka’s mother, and Cody Schroeder, her husband. He was the boys’ boat captain during the tournament.
They realized the best location to fish during the tournament would be the north side of the lake because the water on the south side was “extremely rough,” Aubrie Schroeder said.
Gurka said he caught his keepers in shallow water, in about the same spot two hours apart. “It was like in a cove on the north side,” he said, noting that there was a lot of grass in the water.
“It was pretty windy,” Parker said. “We got into a little cove, and it was not bad. The land was breaking the wind.”
Gurka caught the smaller keeper first and the largest one last. In between, Parker said, Gurka caught one non-keeper and Parker caught two non-keepers, for they were not the minimum 16 inches.
In addition to the bass fishing, Gurka plays golf and basketball and is a percussionist in the marching band. Parker competes in golf and baseball and has been a top swimmer for the Navasota Mudcats club.