The High School Angling Boom

Bass Fishing as a High School Sport

It is hard to believe that it is now possible for a high schooler to earn a Varsity letter for fishing, but why is that so surprising, it is an activity that requires commitment, hard work and persistence to be successful.

At the recent FLW Outdoors High School Bass Fishing Championship, held on Pickwick Lake in Alabama, over 400 teams were in attendance, including four from Minnesota.  We caught up with the team from Plainview/Elgin/Millville, who qualified for the National Championship by winning the Minnesota Open event that was held on the Mississippi River, in Wabasha, this past June.

Jack Mullholland and Jared Haugen, both whom are going to be juniors have memories of a lifetime following this trip and cultivated new fishing friendships with high school anglers from other states.  “It was really cool to see them exchanging fishing info and phone numbers with kids from Wisconsin,” said Jeff Mullholland, Jack’s dad who served as the team’s boat captain.  “It is just how the adults exchange information and develop fishing friendships at these large national events.”

The anglers from this small south east Minnesota high school departed for Alabama the Saturday before the event, and then practiced Sunday through Tuesday.  In this time, the young angler’s eyes were opened to this massive body of water and its offshore intricacies.  “They definitely learned a lot during those practice days and because of this opportunity, they became better anglers,” stated Jeff.

Competing in a multi-day tournament is a mental and physical grind for any aged angler, but the duo stuck it out and put forth their best effort each and every day!  The team finished in the middle of the pack, which wasn’t what they had hoped for, but because of all they learned and the relationships they made with other anglers, the trip was well worth it!

What is great about these high school fishing events, is that there is no entry fee, yet the anglers are still able to win college scholarships!!

Along the lines of promoting the future of fishing to today’s youth, our friends at the National Professional Anglers Association and their President, Jimmy Bell have this message for anglers.

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