SHARPSBURG - Fishing has always been a religious experience for Laura Johnson.
The 13-year-old Sharpsburg girl said she prays as she's baiting her hook, casting her line and waiting for the tug. Laura, who fishes competitively, prayed that she would win "the whole thing" at a 2003 junior regional tournament. She came away a winner, but, she said smiling, "I didn't realize what 'the whole thing' was."
After she won first place in Maryland in that regional tournament, Laura was selected as one of two Maryland youths to compete in the first-ever Junior Bassmaster World Championship, which will coincide with professional fishing's largest event, the CITGO Bassmaster Classic, July 30 to Aug. 1 on Lake Norman, near Charlotte, N.C. The junior event will be held on July 25 and 26.
The only female member of the Junior Potomac River Bassmasters local fishing club, Laura said she made her largest catch, a 3-pound, 1-ounce largemouth bass, on Seneca Lake in Montgomery County.