White has qualified for three national tourneys since the seventh grade
If bass eat as well as a northwest Louisiana high-school bass angler does during tournaments, there are many more big days ahead for Jase White of Haughton.
Already an accomplished angler at 16, White, the son of Brandon and Kristi White, snacks early and often whenever he’s fishing across Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin. He has qualified for and fished national high-school tournaments in the latter three states since 2018.
White, who fished bass tournaments with Cole Golden on the Haughton High School fishing team, is becoming known for his appetite as much as bass-catching prowess.
Tommy Abbott, director of the Louisiana B.A.S.S. Nation Youth, remembers watching White eat four cupcakes at the team dinner in Dayton, Tenn., a few days before the 2021 Bassmaster High School National Championship began in July 29 on Chickamauga Lake, one of 17 two-man teams from Louisiana that fished the prestigious event. The Chick, as the reservoir is known, got the best of his two-man team, which finished 266th out of 308.
Abbott had a good chuckle and shared it with an observer. White recalled the event and the desserts he consumed.
“I do love some cupcakes. I love any food,” White said. “There’s a running joke in our boat. Snack. Snack. We like to take little breaks. We keep joking around. It’s how we keep going.”
White also loves the Louisiana High School B.A.S.S. Nation rule requiring all competitors to take a 10-minute lunch break at 11 a.m.
Getting bass to bite, however, has been the key to his success.
White and Golden enter the fall season as defending champs in the 2020-21 North Louisiana High School Fishing League, a run that propelled them to the TBF/MLF High School National Championship this past summer on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell. They finished 94th in the 236-team field.
His competitive drive wants to return to Chickamauga at least once before he graduates.
“They haven’t said where the next one (national championship) is, but I’d be excited to go back to The Chick. I’d like to get a shot at it,” he said.
One of White’s first big wins came as an eighth-grader, one year after he began fishing bass tournaments. He won the FLW High School Open featuring 49 teams on Nov. 4, 2019, at Toledo Bend.Since 2019, White has 12 Top-20 finishes and five in the Top-10.
A junior, White is looking forward to his last two years in high school and beyond.
“I plan to go fish at the college level. I don’t know where,” he said. “If I can do well on the collegiate level … I’ll test myself out there. If I’m doing well enough on that level, I’ll try the professional level, either B.A.S.S. or MLF,” he said.
His immediate goal, he said, is to apply for the Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team, which annually recognizes the 12 most-outstanding high-school anglers in the country.
What else would an avid, nearly lifelong bass fisherman shoot for?
“I’ve been fishing ever since I could walk,” White said. “Me and my dad have been fishing tournaments since I was 10, maybe 9, years old. My dad, he’s taught me probably 90 or 95% of what I know, him and my grandfather (Kevin White of Taylor, Ark.),” he said. “For the most part, it’s been my dad and grandpa. I picked up a little knowledge myself.”
White and Golden became a team four years ago. Their mothers were friends, and the boys started hanging out. When White was looking for a partner, Golden was ready to get into tournament bass fishing.
They shined this past spring and early summer on the way to winning North Louisiana High School Fishing League 2021 Anglers of the Year. The Buccaneers’ team also held its own on the circuit run by the Louisiana High School B.A.S.S. Nation.
White believes more and more north Louisiana teams will fish Louisiana High School B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments in 2021-22.
White and Golden are fishing bass tournaments out of his father’s 2018 bass boat, which was purchased from well-known bass pro Edwin Evers.
“So it’s got a little history to it,” Jase White said. “(Evers) placed it on an online website to sell boats. My dad happened to be on it. It was a good price. It had everything we wanted. Perfect boat. Perfect timing.”
White considers Toledo Bend his home lake. He’s caught bass there deep and shallow but prefers the shallows, where he stays on the move and throws topwaters almost any time of the year. His favorites are 3/8-ounce black War Eagle buzzbaits with a silver blade and a chrome/threadfin shad 6th Sense Dogma, a walk-the-dog topwater.
“I love throwing topwaters,” he said.
If bass don’t bite those, he’ll flip a Dirty Jig. He tries to avoid that, he said with a chuckle.
He’ll likely have a snack planning his next move.