In 2015 seventh- and eighth-grade students are eligible to compete in High School Fishing tournaments provided that the other team member in the boat with them is in the ninth, 10th, 11th or 12th grade.
“After receiving numerous requests we’ve decided to open competition to seventh- and eighth-grade students provided they are competing in the same boat as older students,” TBF National Youth Director Mark Gintert said. “In this manner High School Fishing will operate similar to most traditional high school sports that allow middle school students to ‘play up’ and compete at the high school level.”
Each state championship will advance the top 10 percent of teams to one of five conference championships. Each conference championship will then advance the top 10 percent of teams to the 2016 High School Fishing National Championship where students in the final round will experience the thrill of fishing from high-performance Ranger Z520C bass boats and weighing in on the world-famous Walmart FLW Tour stage as they compete for $10,000 in scholarships ($5,000 for each member of the winning team).
In addition to state championships, the 2015 schedule includes a series of national opens that also advance teams to conference championships. The top three teams in each open will advance to the conference championship for their home state.
While advancement to the High School Fishing National Championship is limited to top performers in each conference championship, all High School Fishing teams are eligible to compete in the High School Fishing World Final. The 2015 High School Fishing World Finals will be held on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala., July 7-11.
Visit highschoolfishing.org for the complete schedule. Registration opens January 15. To register click on the “tournaments” tab and select “2015 state championships” in the drop down menu. Complete rules for the 2015 season will be available online on or before January 15.
A few state championships have not yet been finalized but will be added to the schedule soon.
“We are excited to offer a lot of new venues for 2015, but we are still ironing out some details on a few state championships,” Gintert said. “If a state championship is not yet on the schedule, rest assured that it will be added soon.”
High School Fishing was introduced by FLW and The Bass Federation (TBF) in 2011. It is the first and only national high school fishing program providing turnkey solutions for state athletic associations. There are no entry fees in High School Fishing state championships, opens, conference championships, the national championship or the World Finals. Participants must be members of the Student Angler Federation (SAF), which is $25 per year and includes:
• Tournament eligibility
• A digital subscription to FLW Bass Fishing magazine
• Access to free online fishing education courses
• Insurance coverage for students, coaches, schools and volunteers
• Access to the largest volunteer angler network in the nation
• A proven fundraising program to make participation virtually cost free for students and schools
• For students 16 and older, eligibility to win great prizes in monthly FLW giveaways “High School Fishing is the single greatest opportunity our sport has to grow participation and move into the mainstream, taking its rightful place alongside traditional sports in our nation’s schools,” FLW Vice President of Operations Dave Washburn said. “With more than 60 million participants annually, fishing is our true national pastime, and FLW is proud to work alongside TBF to ensure that it remains so through the advancement of High School Fishing.”
ABOUT FLW FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2015 over the course of 240 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. For more information about FLW visit FLWFishing.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.