High school bass fishing has become more and more popular with each passing year. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) conducts annual surveys of high school sports participation. The last published survey for 2019 showed 192 schools held bass fishing events engaging over 2,000 students. Today the number of schools in just two states totals 158, NH with 38 schools and WI with 120 schools. Alabama may have had some of the first organized high school fishing events in 2013. In 2022 high school bass fishing events will be held in 37 states. This growth has created more opportunities for high schoolers to compete and, even get exposure on live streamed events of state and national championships on Federation Angler TV.
An online article on Sports Destination Management noted that high school bass fishing provides a chance for the many students not a team member of the traditional high school sports to complete and represent their schools. Competing at the high school level gives students the means to explore an activity outside of normal schoolwork and gives an incentive for them to keep up their grades. It can also help them further their education as more colleges do competitive bass fishing, obtain sponsors and offer scholarships. High schoolers could find a career in the fishing industry by getting exposed to all the companies that provide the products and services related to competitive fishing.
Even if a high school doesn’t offer a program, your state may have an association that, as the Texas High School Bass Association states it provides “ a venue where high school students have the opportunity to compete in organized tournaments while establishing strict guidelines and academic standards that will allow our student anglers to excel in the classroom and on the lake”. Typically these are a collection of high school fishing clubs that have formed a group so they have other schools to compete against.
Two of the most prominent national organizations that support high school fishing are The Bass Federation (TBF) and Major League Fishing (MLF). Together they will hold over 70 high school fishing events in 2022. The events are identified as an “Open”, a “Challenge”, a “Final”, a “Regional” or a “Championship”. The majority are still to be held in every remaining month this year except for August. Maybe this is something you would like to attend with your son or daughter. It could lead to them becoming interested and then finding a school or club team to join or even start one themselves.
The Student Angler Federation or SAF is a part of The Bass Federation and is “aimed at getting students off the couch and back into the great outdoors by promoting the formation of fishing clubs and outdoor activities within the school”. Their website https://highschoolfishing.org/ has lots of good information to help anyone interested in high school bass fishing. It offers “an educational program designed to introduce students to fishing and to show students the ever increasing career and educational opportunities through fishing. It also shows students how the basic elements of their education are used by tournament anglers every day out on the water and how you can use fishing and having fun to sharpen those basic skills that will help you later in life no matter what your career choice”.
High school bass fishing and all it has to offer is something you, your family or someone you know may want to explore further.