Tony Beck, manager of the Walton Fish Hatchery, not only knows how to raise fish, he’s really good at catching them!

Tony competes in bass tournaments throughout the Southeast as a member of the B.A.S.S. Nation and Lake Oconee Bassmasters. He has posted some exceptional tournament results this past year and has qualified to compete in the 2016 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship on Lake Conroe, Texas this week — Nov. 17-19. Qualifying for this event is no small task, as only one boating angler is chosen from each state.

Fishing has always been a part of Tony’s life. When he was 12, he started entering fishing tournaments with his brother and thrived off the competition. His competitive streak led him to take up baseball, but when his baseball career ended after high school, he returned to fishing tournaments as a way to continue competing in a sport he loves.

Tony also has long been interested in working with wildlife. During his studies at the University of Georgia, he realized he wanted to work specifically in fisheries management. He’s been with DNR for 15 years. As manager of the Walton Fish Hatchery near Social Circle, by day Tony raises fish that are distributed to lakes and rivers across Georgia. On the weekends, he’s competing in tournaments across the state and Southeast to reel in the biggest catch!

The 2016 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship will have more than 100 anglers competing from 47 states and nine nations. The pressure is high: The top three finishers will earn a spot to fish in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic, set for March 24-26 at Lake Conroe. The Classic is the pinnacle of competitive bass fishing and the dream of every bass tournament angler.

Congratulations to Tony on this great accomplishment! Georgia will be cheering for you as you chase your life-long dream!

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