Young women beat the boys in bass tournaments
Like in many other sports, most professional anglers take years to reach the top of their profession. However, two young ladies fishing their first year together showed others how to do it.
Competing in the Beaumont, Miss.-based Bass Tactix youth fishing league, Lillie Beach and Karlee Ann Harveston earned top honors in the junior high division of the tour. They placed in the top 10 during the 2022 Bass Tactics national championship. During the 2022-23 season, they became the best junior high bass fishing team in Mississippi and not just the top women’s team, but the best overall team for both high school and junior high students.
“The boys teams give us a little bit of trouble,” commented Lillie, a 13-year-old who will enter 9th grade at Adams County Christian School in Natchez in the fall. “Some of them can be mean to us, but it feels good to beat them. They don’t like to get beat by girls.”
When Karlee Ann was young, we would use minnows to catch crappie, as time progressed, she started doing some bass fishing.
“We feel really good about our fishing,” echoed Karlee Ann, a 12-year-old who will begin 8th grade at the same school in the fall.
At an early age, both young ladies began fishing with their fathers, David Beach and Lew Harveston, both from Natchez. Attending the same school, the girls knew each other, but not very well.
“Lillie was my little shadow,” David recalled. “Wherever I went, she went. I remember having her in the boat with a little playpen as a cover because it was too hot for her to be in the sun all day. She really took to fishing. As she got older, she stuck by my side for hunting and fishing. She had a lot more patience and sportsmanship than her brothers did.”
The young ladies became fishing partners by chance. Neither of their partners wanted to fish one event, so the girls teamed together. Although the girls will attend the same school in the fall, because Lillie will be a 9th grader, she moves up to the high school division. Karlee Ann will need to find a new partner to fish in the junior high division.
“When Karlee Ann was young, we would use minnows to catch crappie,” Lew said. “As time progressed, she started doing some bass fishing. In the past two years, she showed a lot of interest in getting into the school fishing program and getting on the school team. She has picked up bass fishing very well and has given it all she can give. I’m proud to see what they both do. It’s been amazing to watch them. They stuck together and work great as a team.”
A Christian-based, non-profit organization, Bass Tactix conducts youth and adult fishing tournaments throughout the South. Each youth team includes an adult coach, usually a parent, who accompanies the competitors. The adult coach drives the tow vehicle and operates the outboard motor on the boat. The youngsters must decide how and where they want to fish.
For more information on Bass Tactix,
call 601-307-8492 or visit basstacticsmshs.com.