Ponca City, Oct. 2, 2011. The inaugural Student Angler Federation (SAF) Oklahoma High School Fishing Championship was held Saturday, October 1, 2011 on Sooner Lake located in North Central Oklahoma. Fishing was extremely tough with a clear blue sky and essentially no wind. The team of Jenna Beam, the Oklahoma Bass Federation Junior 15- 18 State Champion, and partner Gage Watson of the Ponca City Wildcat Anglers outdistanced Dalton Lee and Brady Burr by 1 pound and 12 ounces to claim the State Championship title. Dalton and Brady were also members of the Po High Anglers. Third place went to team Jacob Lewis and Alex Meadows of the Ponca City High School Club. Jenna and Gage will represent Oklahoma at the SFA Regional Championship on Sommerville Lake located near College Station, TX. The SAF regional tournament will be held in conjuction with the Collegiate Regional tournament. The Bass Federation (TBF) in partnership with the FLW Outdoors are hosting the State, Regional, and National Trails across the nation.
The state champions will advance to an FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing Regional Championship held in conjunction with a National Guard FLW College Fishing Regional Championship hosted on a college campus this fall. They will receive travel allowances to help offset expenses. The winners from each regional will advance to the FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing National Championship held on a college campus in conjunction with the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship in the Spring of 2012. National Champions will each receive a $5,000 scholarship to use at the university of their choice.
Teams who entered and competed at this event, if still eligible, will be qualified to fish in the largest event in high school fishing, the 2012 High School Fishing World Finals (at no extra cost), to compete for thousands in college scholarships and prizes. Additionally, it is open to any and all high school fishing teams who would like to come and compete. If you are not SAF members, you will just need to pay a $50 team entry fee. For more information regarding the HSFWF, please visit our HS Fishing World Finals page on HighSchoolFishing.org.
A unique feature of an SAF sanctioned event such as this is the “angler testing” component. Anglers were given the opportunity to take a free online test at HighSchoolFishing.org about boater safety, conservation and angler ethics, which made them eligible for contingency awards at their state championship. “It’s an industry first by TBF and a tremendous way to emphasize the importance of education to these student anglers,” TBF Youth Director Mark Gintert commented. “The Federation is driven by our desire to promote education through fishing and the testing component is designed to do exactly that. Put this package together with our partnership with FLW Outdoors and the sky is the limit. These young anglers will have opportunities unlike anything the industry has ever seen.”
TBF and SAF would like to thank the Oklahoma Bass Federation and all the volunteers who helped make this event happen. And a huge thank you to all the parents, mentors, teachers, coaches and boat captains for getting your students involved with high school fishing! Thank you all!