De Soto brothers Connor and Dylan Nimrod had one of their better family vacations last weekend.
The Kansas siblings finished sixth at the Costa Bassmaster Central Open on Toledo Bend Reservoir in Louisiana to qualify for the Costa Bassmaster High School National Championship this June on Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tenn.
“It was really, really cool,” added Dylan, a freshman. “I know Connor had qualified previously and I always wondered what it would like to be up there onstage next to my brother and be able to hold up fish with him and I finally got to do that.”
The pair competed against more than 180 teams at the single-day qualifier and captured their top-10 finish after catching a five-fish limit of 18 pounds, 14 ounces. By placing in the top 10 percent of the field, the two booked their tickets for the big dance of high school fishing, marking Connor’s second time qualifying for nationals in three years — and Dylan’s first.
Connor said the skies were mostly overcast during the Louisiana tournament, with a light breeze over clear waters and temperatures in the mid-60s.
“This time of the year, the bass that we were fishing for tend to be shallower in the warmer water temperatures that are down south, so we focused generally on fishing water that was shallower than 10 feet,” Connor said. “We focused on looking for isolated patches of submerged vegetation and underwater stumps and we would throw straight-tailed worms to those and try to pick off the larger females that would focus on staging around that cover to move up shallow.”
As for nationals in June, he expected to see water temperatures in the 80s with fish out in the deeper river channels hanging on ledges. He already had a strategy drawn up in his mind.
“We’ll throw heavy football jigs, crankbaits and big curly-tailed worms in generally dark colors,” Connor said.
He also had some larger plans for further on down the road.
“I look to be on a college team when I graduate high school,” said Connor, who also pole vaults on the track team, “and after college I hope to become a professional bass angler.”
The younger Nimrod, however, wasn’t ready to plan his future out just yet.
“Connor’s a little bit more into it than I am,” said Dylan, who also plays basketball, baseball and runs track at DeSoto. “I’m involved in quite a few other sports, but I definitely find fishing to be very cool and I hope to be able to do it for as long as I can until I take off in my other sports.”
The pair were joined on the boat by their father, Steve, who served as boat captain. Steve said the experience was great for him this year, especially after the tournament was flooded out last year, and he was thrilled to be able to share it with his sons.
“Oh, it’s awesome,” Steve Nimrod said. “It’s awesome just watching them work together and being so excited for each other.”