LAKE WYLIE — For the second year running, locals are taking weekend fishing just as far as it’s taking them.
The Nov. 7-10 Bassmaster Weekend Series national championship in Jasper, Texas, featured two Lake Wylie regulars. Both had big days.
“I’ve never fished Texas before,” said Ed Parker, who ended up ninth out of 170 in the co-angler division. “I had never been to Texas before.”
Parker pre-fished the area and found Sam Rayburn Lake to be “just my kind of fishing.” In all he caught 10 fish weighing 24.43 pounds. The result was a vast improvement from his national championship run last year, when his boater’s boat engine blew while blasting off on day one.
Lake Wylie angler and Dallas, N.C., student Austin Schroeder saw his dad, Chad, finish in the runner-up spot at last year’s championship. Austin was the one to qualify this year. He finished in 19th.
“He was the youngest ever to qualify for the national championship,” Chad said.
Austin turned 16 on Sept. 27 and fished a Virginia division event two days later where he came in fifth. That result qualified him for the Virginia regional where he landed 15th. The top 50 from each region make nationals.
The father-son duo are regulars fishing on Wylie, including Thursday night events. Next month they’ll defend a parent-child title they won last year at a major Lake Norman event.
“We do a lot of fishing,” Chad Schroeder said.
The next chance for the local pair to begin Weekend Series qualifications comes in January. Parker will be excited to get back at it in the new year, but also to see how local tournament competitor Schroeder does so early into his fishing career.
“The kid can fish,” Parker said. “There’s no doubt about it.”