Will McGraw Wins Best Black Belt Fish Photo Contest

13-year-old Hauled in Massive Bass in Wilcox County

MONTGOMERY, Ala.  —  This summer Will McGraw, a 13-year-old from Camden, hooked a big bass — twice. The photo his father took of the beast when the eighth-grader at Wilcox Academy finally landed it has won the 2017 Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association Best Black Belt Fish Photo Contest.

Will had snagged the big fish in the private lake in Wilcox County near the same tree where he actually landed it on June 5. The first time, the 26-inch largemouth broke the line just before Will got it to the boat. The second time was the charm as he landed the bass on a NetBait junebug 11-inch worm. The McGraws returned the big fish to the lake without weighing it, figuring next time he will be even bigger!

The ALBBAA’s contest is conducted via a Facebook vote, with the photo with the most “likes” earning the prize as the Black Belt’s Best Fish. Will and his family won a free night at Lakepoint Resort State Park at Lake Eufaula, the world renown best bass fishing lake in America.

“The Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association Best Black Belt Fish Photo Contest encourages people to enjoy the great outdoors,” said Pam Swanner, ALBBAA’s Project Director. “And, what better place to get outdoors than Alabama’s Black Belt region which is teeming with wildlife and big fish! We are so proud of everyone who took the time to share their catches with us and our friends on Facebook.

“We’re thankful to the Alabama State Parks Division for providing us a wonderful prize — an overnight stay at Lakepoint State Park in Eufaula. Lakepoint and Lake Eufaula are an angler’s paradise, right here in the Black Belt. We know that Will and his family will have a great time there.”

Will received 230 of the more than 1,200 votes cast in this year’s contest. Entries came from nine of the 23 Black Belt counties in Alabama with Wilcox County providing eight different entries — including the winner.

“Will really started liking fishing this spring and summer and some weeks we would fish four or five days,” said Sadler McGraw, Will’s father. “This was the best summer I have ever had in the outdoors and I got to spend it all with my son. We got to catch literally hundreds of bass over the past few months.”

The younger McGraw is also an avid turkey and deer hunter, his dad said, and he plays football, basketball and baseball.

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<p>Counties included are Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Wilcox. Counties included are Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Wilcox.

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