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Plant City Observer Thursday, May 3, 2018 4 months ago

Strawberry Crest duo preparing for Bassmaster national championships

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Chase Givens and Chase Hubble are the only Hillsborough County duo to make the cut.
by: Justin Kline Sports/Associate Editor

If anyone knows a thing or two about chasing fish, it’s Strawberry Crest High School’s own “Team Chase and Chase.” 

In the first year the Chases — Givens and Hubble — have teamed up, the duo has become one of 16 teams from Florida and the only group from Hillsborough County to qualify for the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series National Championship, which will be held in Paris, Tennessee from Aug. 2-4. The boys’ season has had its share of ups and downs, but they said the ups have been good enough to help propel the boys to one of the biggest stages in high school fishing.

Before their sophomore season began, both Givens and Hubble wanted a fresh start with a new partner. They linked up in the offseason, began fishing the ponds at Walden Lake together and formed a partnership that’s worked better than either expected at the time. The Chases take a similar approach to fishing and said that’s helped them make quick, smart decisions before going out on the water.

“We both agree with each other, listen to each other’s ideas instead of arguing what we should do,” Givens said.

This year, the boys fished in tournaments on eight lakes or chain systems around the state and were one of only two teams that weighed in fish in every tournament in the Florida High School series. The Chases were also runners-up for the state’s Anglers of the Year award, a prize more than 150 high school teams were eligible for.

Givens and Hubble said fishing Lake Okeechobee in December was by far their best experience of the season, as they caught roughly 40 bass and placed third in the tournament. After Okeechobee, they said, the boys began to pay more attention to the statewide standings and points totals.

Though there were tournaments where the fish simply didn’t want to bite, or others went overboard — Givens accidentally dropped a fish in the St. Johns River while attempting to measure it — multiple top-10 finishes and early-season success created enough insurance for the boys to be able to qualify for nationals.

“Previous tournaments helped us out…all the points came together to give us the points that got us over the other kids,” Givens said.

Team Chase and Chase will soon tackle Kentucky Lake, which is far deeper than any in Florida and allows fish to be more mobile. Brush and ledges that don’t exist in Florida lakes will also make things trickier. Though they’re at least hoping to hit their limits each day and place in the top 50, winning in Tennessee is the ultimate goal.

Though the duo and Crest’s fishing club already has several sponsors, the Chases are always looking for any additional help they can get for covering the costs to go to the tournament. Anyone interested in a sponsorship can contact Christa Hubble at [email protected].

Justin Kline is the Sports/Associate Editor at the Plant City Times & Observer. He has been covering all things sports-related in the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World since 2013, and hosts the weekly Gridiron Report podcast during high school football season.

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