COSHOCTON – Tanner Ward’s dad, Tim, taught him fishing as soon as he could walk and Tim continues to be Tanner’s favorite person to go fishing with. Recently, that love of fishing helped him out-fish many two man teams and qualify to fish in the National Bassmaster College Series Tournament to be held in August at a lake to be announced later.
Ward graduated from Coshocton High School in 2016 and is studying applied engineering at Kent State University. While at CHS, he was a member of the bass club and joined a club when he enrolled at Kent State. Instead of spending his spring break on a beach like many of his friends, he traveled with his grandparents, Jeff and Melba Ward, to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri to fish at Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Midwest Regionals.
He said he took his dad’s boat and “everything I own” in fishing gear. He had no idea what type of bait would lure the fish to him so he took it all and narrowed down his equipment after two and a half days of practice. The tournament lasted three days – March 29-31 – and at the end, he placed 10th out of 140 teams. He fished alone since most of his friends were on vacation. The first place two-person team only caught about 14 pounds more than he did alone. Ward spent about a week in Missouri.
Ward turned in the limit of five fish each day of the tournament and ended up with 47 pounds 13 ounces of bass to his name. When asked if he realized how well he was doing during the tournament, he said, “I knew I had a solid bag and on the final day, I caught a 4 pound and 3 pound bass in the last 30 minutes and I knew I would qualify (for the finals.)” Ward said he thought the location of the finals would be announced in June and he “will definitely be” going to the finals and he can’t wait to compete again.