Hunter Warden is starting to find his groove as an angler.

A fisherman for "as long as he can remember", Hunter won two contests this summer - one on Grand Lake, the other, at Roaring River State Park in Cassville, Missouri.

Pretty good results for an angler who just turned 10 this summer.

Hunter, son of Bobby and Candy Warden, started fishing crappie and white bass with his dad around the age of 5. 

The pair often set out on Grand and Eucha together, using the sport for father-son outings. Later, they begin to enter smaller tournaments on the two lakes.

"We had a lot of fun fishing for bass," Hunter said. "Then I thought, I can win money for this and [have] a lot of fun."

Some of his early wins include a having the biggest perch in 2014 and 2015 during the Perch Jerk on Lake Eucha.

In June, he won first place with his father, during the Falcon Grand Challenge at Wolf Creek Park. The pair finished with a three-bass bag of 13.27 pounds. At least one of the bass weighed more than five pounds.

Hunter said he used a Falcon seven foot, nine inch cranking rod and crank bait to real in his fish.

While it was a team tournament, Bobby admits his son out fished him, catching all of the fish that made it to the weigh in.

"He always puts me in the right spot," Hunter said, adding his father had at least one four pound bass in the mix.

"I really like it because it's fun, you can win money and it's relaxing," Hunter said. "I love fishing."

A fifth grader at Grove's Upper Elementary School, Hunter said he really likes spending time outdoors. Beyond fishing, he loves to hunt deer, turkeys and pigs. He also likes to go noodling. 

"The outdoors are quiet, relaxing and there's lots of stuff to do," Hunter said. 

As far as his father is concerned, Hunter can fish "as much as he wants," as long as the grade card comes home with A's.

"It's a lot of fun fishing with him," Bobby said. "Honestly, in the last few years, during fishing tournaments, he puts more big fish in the boat than my adult partners.

"I'm growing up a good partner."

Hunter said his secret, learned over time is summed up in one word - patience.

"Whenever I don't catch them, I just keep trying," Hunter said, adding he does have certain leurs and a few techniques to help aid the process. "I never quit."

During the Falcon Challenge, Hunter also earned a trophy for being the youngest angler with the heaviest weight.

"It's a lot harder than it seems," Hunter said, "because you have to be on the right fish, to be able to win."

Hunter's success is not limited to bass.

At the end of August, during a kids fishing weekend at Roaring River State Park in Cassville, Hunter caught a 7.35 pound rainbow trout - the second biggest trout caught by more than 1,000 fellow anglers 15 years and below.

For now, Hunter is focusing on local tournaments. He is considering honing his skills so he can join a college fishing team when he gets older.