Best Friends and CEOs; Bass Fishing Duo Making Noise on the Water


It’s another early morning for John Reed Batchelor and Matthew Freeman.

They’re best friends who spend all day on the water.

“Four years ago we started fishing for Brimm and we got the fishing bug,” Freeman said.

“It started out as relaxation I think and it just started out as having fun,” Batchelor said. “It still is but Matthew and I are very competitive.”

Which is what this duo does now; they compete.

They’re seventeen-year-olds who taught themselves how to bass fish years ago and have since gotten pretty good.


A year ago, the two fished independently but after a talk with Callaway High School administrators, they now represent the Cavaliers.

As the first fishing team in school history, they’ve grown a lot from where they were a year ago.

“We really struggled,” Batchelor said. “We were out of state by .7 pounds at one point but we tried to fix what we did wrong last year and I think what we did wrong last year was a mindset.”

They’ve since moved on and in their first ever tournament this year, they qualified for the Georgia Bass National State Classic Championship.

For the next week, Matthew and John will hit the water every day as they hope to earn a spot at Nationals.

“It’s very humbling honestly,” Freeman added.

But if you think these two are just state qualifiers guess again.

They’re CEOs, creators of a company called Southern Shiners that custom makes jigs and spinner baits for fishermen all over the country.

“We can give them our lures and they give us feedback on what they like,” Freeman said.

Batchelor added, “We’ve had a lot of fun doing it honestly and we’ve made a lot of memories through the years just like fishing.”

CEOs and best friends. What more can you ask for?

“We’re pretty silly and funny and things like that but we just go out there and have fun,” said Freeman.

“It means a lot to have somebody I know so well on the boat with me,” Batchelor said. “Being able to make more memories, it’s fun.”

And if the fish don’t want to bite, it’s going to be okay. Because the love these two have for the sport and their shared time on the water outweighs any amount of bass they catch.

Categories: Georgia Sports, High School, Sports