Owen Stamm isn’t a loner. Sometimes he just wants to fish alone.
Like he did Nov. 6 at South Holston Lake in Upper East Tennessee, when he won the Bass Pro Shops-Sevierville Series tournament as one of the few entries solo fishing.
“One thing, I like fishing by myself this time of the year,” said Stamm, who fishes for the Hamblen County Anglers team, a combination of anglers from Morristown West and Morristown East High Schools coached by West teacher Wesley Harvin.
“I think it helps me a lot, the way that I like to fish. I’m covering water, I’m going down the banks all day, and having one person in the boat, I can really position the boat the way I want it. I think it does help me in certain situations by myself because you get in a better angle and you can fish a little better being by yourself than you could with a partner, especially this time of year. I like it.”
It’s not the norm on the Tennessee BASS Nation High School Series, which emphasizes the team (two-person) aspect of the sport and may not allow a solo angler to compete in its nationals next year.
Regardless, Stamm plans to fish alone on the Bass Pro Shops-Sevierville Series with his father, Jason, serving as the boat captain/driver.
“We fish a lot of team tournaments together, me and him, if I’m not fishing with somebody else,” Owen Stamm said.
Stamm, a junior who attends Morristown West, planned earlier in the summer to fish with fellow West sophomore Matthew Whitaker, but Whitaker had already signed up to fish with Morristown East sophomore Nolan Gray.
Stamm still did a practice run with Whitaker on South Holston the week before the Nov. 6 event, and it paid off when he won the tournament with the five-bass limit weighing 13.77 pounds – including the tournament’s big bass weighing 5.36 pounds.
Cumberland Gap’s Alex Douglas and Will Douglas were second in the tournament with five bass weighing 12.45 pounds.
Next were Sevier County’s Chase McCarter and Ty Trentham (12.15 pounds), followed by Whitaker and Gray (10.55 pounds) of the Hamblen County Anglers and Blake Roberts and Riley Faulkner (9.42) of Campbell County.
HOW HE WON
Stamm’s pre-fishing run with Whitaker didn’t go so great.
“I started out in practice, me and Matthew were catching fish on boat docks, surprisingly,” Stamm said. “I didn’t have a whole lot of confidence in that. He was catching more doing that than I was, but I didn’t really have much else figured out in practice.”
A week later, the morning of Nov. 6, Stamm figured a plan.
“When we blasted off, I ran up to the lake and saw a dock I didn’t fish in practice,” he said, “and I pulled in there, and it was really too windy to fish that how I wanted to, but there was some points and little pockets that the wind was blowing on, and I just thought I’d go down the bank here and cover some water and try to catch some largemouth.”
Within the first 20 minutes, Stamm caught the 5.36-pounder in a brush pile with the wind blowing into it. He caught it on a Jack Hammer Z-Man Chatterbait.
“It’s a big-bass bait, usually,” Stamm said. “You don’t catch as many on that, but the ones you usually catch on that are usually pretty good fish.”
Stamm knew he had a good fish when it the lure, but didn’t know how big until he saw it, and they got it in the boat.
“When I put my hands on it, I was shaking,” Stamm said.
Next he caught his second-biggest largemouth on a crankbait, then some smaller bass.
“Then I ran up into the river, up in the dirtier water, and ended up filling out my limit on a crank bait,” Stamm said.
His bag consisted of four largemouth and one smallmouth.
Stamm fished in the Tennessee BASS Nation Southeast division event last Saturday (Nov. 13) at Douglas Lake and will do plenty of fishing aside from the high school circuits this school year.
He and his father will fish some tournaments, and Owen also serves as a co-angler on the Bassmaster Open circuit and other leagues on area lakes.
Earlier this year, Stamm fished a Bassmaster Open as a co-angler on Douglas and got paired on Day 2 with the leader, David Williams of North Carolina.
“That was probably the most fun day of fishing I’ve ever had,” Stamm said.
It’s not just fun fishing as a co-angler in Bassmaster Open events; it’s also a chance to learn from the best.
“When I fish as co-angler, I just fish in those to learn, and it’s really fun,” Stamm said. “If you do well, it’s a bonus, and you learn a lot from those guys.”
Stamm has the highest of goals in fishing.
“I definitely want to fish professionally,” Stamm said.
BASS PRO STANDINGS
After two events on the Bass Pro Shops-Sevierville Series – the first was Oct. 9 at Cherokee Lake – Stamm is second in the standings with 15.54 pounds. He weighed in 1.77 pounds at Cherokee.
Faulkner and Roberts are in first place (25.69 pounds) after winning at Cherokee with 16.27 pounds.
Whitaker and Gray are third (12.76), Douglas and Douglas are fourth (12.45), and Trentham and McCarter are fifth (12.15).
There are two more stops on the Bass Pro Shops-Sevierville Series – Fort Loudon on March 19, 2022 and Watts Bar on April 16, 2022 – followed by the season-ending Classic on Douglas in May.