HUNTINGDON, Tenn. — Although Arkansas pro Harvey Horne wished he would have been competing for $100,000 and a blue trophy on Monday morning at the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite Series on Lake Chickamauga, he continued to make the most of his time in Tennessee.
After wrapping up his Lake Chickamauga event Sunday with a 19th-place finish and a check, Horne made the four-hour trip to Huntingdon to watch his son Joseph and his partner Jake Butcher weigh in at their first-ever Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster Junior Series National Championship at the Carroll County 1000 Acre Recreational Lake.
“It’s pretty unique to be able to have a son who loves fishing as much as I do,” Horne said. “For him to be qualified for an event like this is pretty special in itself. Just to be able to get here and get to the weigh-in and being here for him on his first National Championship tournament is pretty awesome. Hopefully we will see him next year at the high school event.”
Joseph and Butcher weighed-in one fish for 1-pound on Monday afternoon, and while it was less than what they were hoping for in their first championship, Joseph said it was an exciting experience.
“It was a new experience for both of us,” Joseph said. “We hadn’t had the opportunity to get to the big leagues, and it was really exciting for both of us to have this opportunity.”
Joseph added that having Harvey in the crowd made the experience even more special.
“I had a proud feeling in my stomach,” Joseph said. “I’m just thankful to have a father like him.”
Before he left for the Elite Series tournament on Lake Guntersville at the end of the September, Harvey took Joseph and Butcher to Carroll County Lake to pre-fish for the Junior Series Championship.
“We did pretty good,” Horne said. “There’s a lot of really big fish in this lake. We heard there was a 13 (pounder) caught here a couple weeks ago. One big fish can swing any one of these teams. One 7-or 8-pounder could really swing the whole tournament.”
Horne has been a boat captain for many kids over the last decade, he said, but being able to do it with Joseph this year has been a rewarding experience.
“Being able to be a boat captain for my son and his fishing partner in the Bassmaster tournaments is really special,” he said. “I get to run them around in my big Xpress Boat. They really loved that, especially with it being wrapped and having all of the Humminbird graphs.”
Butcher added that he has learned a lot from fishing with the Hornes this year.
“It’s been a very good experience, and I’ve learned a lot,” Butcher said. “I’m glad I joined the fishing club this year.”
While he waited for Joseph and Butcher to weigh in, Harvey took some time to mingle with the other parents and snap some pictures with some of the other junior teams that had already walked across the stage.