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Native boy excels at fishing event
Boy Fisherman pic
Dawson County native Carson Sims displays his 4.4 pound smallmouth bass that eaned him a $1,000 prize for catching the big fish in the 2011 WON Bass U.S. Open in Nevada. - photo by For the Dawson Community News

A 13-year-old Dawson County native is making a name for himself as a Texas outdoorsman.

During the month of July, Carson Sims received his third straight Texas Slam Award and received $1,000 for weighing in a big fish in the 2011 WON Bass U.S. Open in Nevada.

He then donated his winnings to the Wounded Warrior Foundation.

Although he doesn't have relatives who serve in the military, Sims said he felt the charity was in need.

"They've only received $2,800 since I've been here," Sims said. "I felt they deserved more than that. I see what they do and I just think it's awesome."

His mother, Hope Fettler, said she is proud of her son for his donation and for his accomplishments.

"It's awesome, I just think it's great," Fettler said. "He loves to fish and hunt and to see him be able to give back to a charity with his winnings is just incredible."

Sims received the money for catching a 4.4 pound smallmouth bass on the first day of the tournament.

"I've only been fishing for about two and a half years," Sims said. "My first and biggest love is hunting."

Sims grew up hunting in the woods of north Georgia, where most of his family still resides, including his mother, stepfather, sisters and grandparents.

"He comes to visit all the time," Fettler said. "He's been flying back-and-forth for most of his life because we had a ranch in Texas, but this is his hometown."

Sims said he keeps in touch with all of the friends he made as an elementary student at Kilough Elementary.

"We talk about once a week and then on Facebook," Sims said.

Sims received the Texas Slam Award for 2010 at the Texas Big Game Award banquet July 15 in San Antonio, and then competed in the three-day U.S. Open on July 19-21 on Lake Mead in Nevada.

To earn the Texas Slam, a hunter must kill a whitetailed deer, a mule deer, and an antelope in the same season within state lines.

Sims did just that, taking a whitetailed deer in Burnet County, Texas, a mule deer in Amarillo, Texas, and an antelope in Hudspeth County, Texas.

Sims was one of 13 hunters to win the award, but the only youth.

"I just love being outdoors and being with the deer," Sims said. "I grew up hunting and killed my first deer at 6.

"I've just been hooked ever since."

Sims' July adventure continued in Nevada, where he became the youngest angler to ever fish in the U.S. Open.

"I've been on fishing trips and stuff with my dad since I was a baby," Sims said. "But I've only been doing serious fishing for about two years."

Sims said he hopes to make fishing into a career, but noted that it is a hard industry to get into.

He's off to a good start however; after the tournament he picked up three sponsors: Duckett Fishing, Plano Tackle and Rico Lures.

"I just like being outside," Carson said. "I grew up hunting and fishing with my dad [Claude]. He got me into it when I was little. The whole trip was unbelievable. It was an awesome experience."

With his love of the outdoors, a supporting mother and father and a heart that doesn't mind donating $1,000, Sims seems assured to have a successful career in whatever he chooses.