"Florence/Lauderdale Tourism is very excited to bring the Student Angler Federation and its World Finals event to our area," said Suzie Shoemaker, sports marketing coordinator for the tourism group. "The education and experience these young people receive through bass fishing is helping to shape them into incredible young adults. We are thrilled to have them and their families coming to our great city, and the summer event can't get here fast enough for us!"
TBF National Youth Director Mark Gintert agrees that Florence offers a great new venue for the SAF event.
"First, I'd like to recognize Russellville, Ark., for the their wonderful role in helping us build our High School Fishing program into what it has become; they were terrific hosts," said Gintert. "We see Florence continuing the momentum, serving up the ideal middle-of-the-country location and the iconic fishing setting of Pickwick Lake. The tourism team has been a great group to work with and they are genuinely interested in bringing family-oriented events to their city. Our family-focused event is a perfect fit." High School Fishing's World Finals present one of the most unique and fair formats found in competitive fishing today. It is designed to give every team an equal chance to advance to Saturday's final round of 21 teams.
Competition begins with anglers competing over the first two days against others from their own states. The top two teams from each state then advance on to the semi-final round on day three.
Those who did not qualify for the semi-finals are placed in a consolation round with yet another chance to still make it to the final day, much like how double elimination baseball tournaments work.
"Our kids are coming here to fish and we're giving them a couple of different ways to make it all the way. Regardless of where a team finishes, everybody enjoys their time during championship week," Gintert added.
Online registration for the 2015 championship opens January 15 at www.highschoolfishing.org. Additional details about the event and future updates can also be found on the same web site.