High School Fishing Gaining Popularity – Nebraska Game & Parks Commission Needs Your Help!

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) is committed to increasing opportunities for Nebraska youth to go fishing.  In 2010, we learned about The Bass Federation’s Student Angler Federation (SAF) and their ability to promote and sponsor bass fishing clubs and state, regional, and national high school fishing tournaments.  We at Game and Parks are excited about partnering with TBF in these efforts, but we need your help to make the program effective.

In 2011, Tony Munter of the NGPC North Platte Fish Hatchery and Kent Priel of North Platte, a member of the TBF of Nebraska Sportsman Bass Club, helped form a SAF high school fishing club in the North Platte area called the Lincoln County Bass Bosses (LCBB).  These men and the LCBB kids held a state tournament at Maranatha Lake in September, and then sent the two state champions (Adam Diehl and Drew Bailey) to the regional tournament at Somerville Lake, College Station, Texas.  Adam and Drew WON that tournament and will be competing in the National High School Championship in South Carolina in April.  We wish them the very best!

We are already planning the 2012 State Tournament.  Last year’s tournament was organized on short notice to qualify two students for the regional tournament (we obviously got two good ones).  For this year’s State Tournament, we have more time and want to include more youth and teams from across the state.  To increase participation in the tournament, we need your help to:

  • Identify and support students who are interested in participating in SAF fishing activities.
  • Help form and support new SAF high school clubs.
  • Support and assist with a Nebraska State High School Fishing Tournament.

Identifying and Supporting Students

Why do we need you?  You are the guys who know how to fish, actually go fishing, have the equipment, and can teach kids how to fish.  You are also spread across the state and have contact with kids who want to fish.  Most importantly, you belong to an organization that is committed to promoting fishing to kids.

If you have children, neighbor kids, grand children, nephews and nieces, friends of friends, or some kid you don’t yet know who wants to learn how to fish – get them hooked up with this opportunity, take them fishing and get them prepared to compete in the 2012 Nebraska State High School Fishing Tournament.

NGPC is your organizer, cheerleader, and TBF sponsor, and we plan to assist you and kids who want to be involved.  You make the kid contacts, get them out fishing, and we assure you there will be a Nebraska State High School Fishing Tournament in cooperation with TBF and SAF!

SAF High School Fishing Clubs

High school kids enjoy activities with their peers, and fishing clubs would allow them to enjoy fishing, just as they would if they were involved with traditional sports.  Fishing clubs allow many students, including those who are not athletically-inclined or engaged, to participate in a school and team activity.  It doesn’t matter if you are 6 foot 4 or 4 foot 6, a girl or boy, to excel at this activity.  However, it takes an adult to put it all together, to form, support, and sponsor high school fishing clubs.

NGPC and TBF can help.  Tony Munter will be happy to answer questions about his experience in setting up the LCBB club.  We will be here to assist you with the details of organizing your club, completing the TBF forms, etc.  The following are a link to and an excerpt from the TBF-SAF website: https://www.highschoolfishing.org/getting-started/.

Student Angler Federation, (SAF) clubs are gearing up for another exciting year of High School Fishing.  Starting a school club is simple.  There are new and exciting SAF opportunities waiting for you, so let’s breakdown this easy process.

First, contact TBF in the “Contact” section of the web site.  Then, TBF will send out a free School Packet containing a link to the 15 minute video (view it now), a sample workbook, and information on starting a SAF club.  Review the materials and show the video to a teacher, principal or advisor.  If they can’t help you get started, contact the TBF National Youth Director, Mark Gintert, at info@highschoolfishing.org for help.

2012 Nebraska State High School Fishing Tournament

Date: Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Location: Summit Lake, Burt County

Time:  7 AM to 1 PM (Safety meeting and final registration starting at 6 AM)

The tournament will be held according to TBF and SAF sanctioned rules.  Every student angler will have to register on the TBF-SAF website.  You will notice that the website states that SAF clubs must have at least six members to form a club, and individuals join under a club.  We prefer to have clubs with at least six competitors and three or more boats at the State Tournament.  But, to accommodate students from small schools, special arrangements can be made to provide opportunity for those unable to be part of a six-person club.  Contact Larry Pape for details.

Students will fish the State Tournament as two-person teams, with the boat operated by an adult coach or mentor.  The winners of this State Tournament will be given the opportunity to attend the 2012 SAF Regional Tournament (location and date to be determined).

In summary, here’s what we would like you to do:

  • Find kids interested in fishing, especially competitive bass fishing.
  • Determine if you and your Nebraska TBF Club can form a high school club.
  • Contact Larry Pape or Tony Munter if you want to form a club or have questions.
    • We will then guide you into our volunteer registration system that allows us to communicate easily.
  • Contact Larry Pape or Tony Munter if you have students who want to join a club or have questions.
    • We will assist them in getting signed up for SAF and guide them into student registration system that allows us to communicate easily.
  • Give us your ideas, opinions, and concerns.

Thanks for considering this opportunity to participate in a program intended to recruit more kids to fishing!


Larry Pape



Tony Munter