Vice hooks awards as well as fish
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
Brad Vice might look like your typical junior high student, but to the fish in the lakes of this country he might be Public Enemy No. 1.
Vice, who attends Hartselle Junior High School, was the American Bassfishing Club's North Alabama junior angler of the year and national junior angler of the year for 2005. He came in first place at ABC's junior-only tournament in Lake Winneconne, Wis., and finished second in the national tournament.
Vice missed first place in the national tournament – an event that featured divisions for both juniors and adults – by just 1.21 pounds.
Vice has already made a name for himself on the national level at just 12 years of age. He caught the year's best junior sack for 2005 at an ABC Tournament at Lake Guntersville on March 19. Vice's sack of five fish was 22.09 pounds total, including a 7.62-pound largemouth bass.
"My grandpa and dad have always fished and I just followed them around and eventually got good at it myself," Vice said.
Vice has been fishing since he was five years old and has been a member of ABC since he was nine. His father Jeff is also a member of ABC and competes in the adult division.
"Even I've never caught a bag that big," Jeff Vice said. "The kid has been improving every year and he wants to maybe go pro in the future. He's an A/B student, so as long as he keeps his grades up he can fish all he wants."
Brad Vice and his family traveled to Lake Winneconne for the national tournament from June 22-24. Vice was in fourth place after day one with a tournament weight of 7.09 pounds, but a combined 14.97 pounds over the last two days of the tournament left him at a final weight of 22.06 pounds. Meagan Reitz was the overall champion with a final tournament weight of 23.27 pounds.
Vice's schedule is busy, with tournaments approximately every month.
His most recent tournament was Monday at Lake Wheeler, where he finished in second place with a weight of 6.28 lb. He did have the biggest fish in the tournament, a 3.60-pounder.
But even when there aren't any tournaments going on, Vice still says that he fishes around two or three times a week.
"You've got to practice at all the holes you fish at before you go to the tournaments," he said. "You've got to throw different lures and see if the fish are biting or not."