Rayne’s Guidry, Meyer, reach top spot in Angler of the Year race

William Guidry, left, and Tanner Meyer show off the six lunker bass they caught while fishing Toledo Bend in January. Their respective families have camps on the Louisiana side of Toledo Bend.

Louisiana High School B.A.S.S. Nation’s 2022-23 season was as competitive as ever as a growing number of young bass fishermen and bass fisherwomen vied for the coveted Anglers of the Year title.

It boiled down to this: Two juniors. Two captains. Two Ranger bass boats. That was an unbeatable combination that added up to one AOY championship for the team of Will Guidry, who lives in Roberts Cove and attends Rayne High School, and Tanner Meyer, a Mermentau resident who goes to Midland High School.

Guidry and Meyer, proudly representing the Rayne Fishing Team, were honored, along with each bass angler’s father, on April 21 before the two-day State Championship tournament out of Doiron’s Landing. Guidry’s dad, Brandon Guidry, and Meyer’s dad, Marcus Meyer, alternated as boat captains in their respective Rangers, shared in the hard-earned honor.

280 teams competed

More than 280 teams competed on the LHSBN trail of nine tournaments from last fall to this spring across the Sportsman’s Paradise. The cream rose to the top as Guidry and Meyer earned the title by winning the LHSBN’s West Trail, finishing third in the North Trail and fourth in the East Trail.

“I’d like to thank my dad, my whole family, and Mr. Marcus, Tanner’s dad. We don’t do it without them,” Guidry said.

“It was a very good year. Things went great for us. It wasn’t just luck. We put in a lot of work,” he said, noting they tried diligently to prefish the week before each event. “If we had time. Sometimes we wouldn’t have time.”

Guidry, who plans to play football as a senior for the Wolves, picked up a bass fishing rod around age 8, at first targeting small ponds with his dad. One of his first catches was a 7-pound bass.

A few weeks after the AOY presentation, Guidry and Meyer finished fourth in the 2023 Strike King High School Series tournament at Red River, an Open tournament that attracted 93 teams from Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida, Texas and Alabama. The Rayne High School team, however, has one more major tournament remaining before they begin fishing as seniors this fall. They qualified for nationals scheduled July 27-29 at Lake Hartwell near Anderson, South Carolina, site of the 2023 Strike King Bassmaster High School Championship.

Making some noise

Meyer believes they can make some noise in S.C.

“I feel we can do well,” he said. “I figure we can catch them shallow. That’s how we like to do it.”

Meyer, who usually runs the trolling motor in tournaments, began fishing in the sixth grade, following his father’s footsteps. He wanted to get into bass tournaments, including high school contests, which he did as an eighth grader with Ross Miller of Notre Dame. They qualified for nationals their first year together.

(Left to right) Marcus Meyer, captain, fishing teammates William Guidry and Tanner Meyer, and Brandon Guidry, captain, are honored by the Louisiana High School B.A.S.S. Nation for winning the Anglers of the Year Award.

After Miller graduated (Class of ’22), Meyer and Guidry hooked up for their junior year at Midland and Rayne, respectively, for 2022-23. Guidry fished as a freshman and sophomore with Ethan Guilbeau.

“It was really good. Everything went together really good for us. He’s dedicated, just like I am. We won Henderson. That was our highest finish,” Meyer said about the win Feb. 18 on a tough lake with four bass weighing 9.71 pounds.

Toledo is home

Both high schoolers claim Toledo Bend as their home lake. Meyer’s family has a camp near Buckeye Landing, while Guidry’s family owns a camp by San Patricio.

It isn’t surprising the reigning AOYs both love to fish Toledo Bend in July.

Meyer favors mid-lake points between Pendleton Bridge and Big Bass Marina because they harbor quality bass. He likes to put the boat in 20- to 25-foot depths and cast a June Bug, plum apple or watermelon/red Zoom Mag 2 or Ol Monster to 6- to 8-foot depths.

Guidry, on the other hand, prefers to fish the Blue Lake area with with a Strike King deep-diving crankbait and Carolina or Texas-rigged soft plastics. They both look forward to fishing together again in 2023-24.

After that? Meyer planned to visit LSU-Shreveport fishing team coach Charles Thompson. Later, he’d like to go as far as possible, he said, leaning to B.A.S.S. Guidry said he wouldn’t mind fishing collegiately, but after that would stick strictly to local tournaments rather than B.A.S.S. or MLF.

About Don Shoopman 534 Articles
Don Shoopman fishes for freshwater and saltwater species mostly in and around the Atchafalaya Basin and Vermilion Bay. He moved to the Sportsman’s Paradise in 1976, and he and his wife June live in New Iberia. They have two grown sons.

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