Growing the Sport of Competitive Bass Fishing at the Youth Level

Brainerd Warriors Fishing Team Creates Unique New High School Tournament Trail

The Brainerd Warriors Fishing program has developed quite the cult like following in northern Minnesota, with just over 130 junior and high school anglers in the program, they are the largest youth bass club in the state and rough estimates by The Bass Federation have them as the biggest in the United States.

With both affiliations with BASS and TBF, high school anglers can now earn a varsity letter for being on the high school fishing team.  Earning the letter is based off of their academics, volunteering and their tournament results.  “Our criteria for lettering isn’t based solely on their fishing performance, our goal is to help create well rounded individuals,” said head coach Jason Bahr.

Last year anglers from the Brainerd Warriors Fishing Team were quite successful, with members being the Minnesota TBF State Champions and the BASS Junior Champion.  The team also sent six teams (12 anglers) to the TBF Regional on the Ohio River and because of a successful fundraising campaign, all expenses were covered.  The team also has one high school angler and one junior angler headed south to Kentucky Lake this summer for the BASS National Championship.

In effort to get more young anglers involved in the high school fishing programs across the state of Minnesota, Jason Bahr created the Minnesota High School Trail.  This BASS sanctioned trail features five regular season events across Minnesota with a Tournament of Champions to be held in September.

“What we have noticed is that a lot of our anglers may not be competing in other sports, but are very competitive,” stated Jason.  “So our aim of this tournament trail is the high school angler who is interested in getting into competitive fishing, but just hasn’t been exposed to it yet.”

There is no better way to motivate competitive bass fisherman, than with a large carrot at the end of the string like a boat being given away.  The top five anglers from each of the regular season events will qualify for the Championship and have a chance to win a brand new, fully rigged boat!

These low cost events ($70 BASS members/$100 non-BASS members) will also qualify youth Minnesota anglers for the BASS National Championship, with more anglers qualifying to go based on the more anglers fishing the tournament circuit.

What is exciting about the sport of high school bass fishing is that bass tournament anglers serve as the boat captains in these events, as they provide the boat and operate the main engine.  All other facets of the day are dictated and controlled by the high school anglers.

For more information on the Minnesota High School Trail, you can visit the Brainerd Warriors Fishing Team website, http://www.brainerdwarriorfishing.com/ or their Facebook page, BrainerdWarriorFishing.

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