March 12, 2011 – Tyler Lambert and Christopher Conlon of Sarasota Military Academy caught a limit of bass weighing 13.17 lbs in the first ever Florida High School Fishing State Championship held on Lake Toho on Saturday. Winning the State Championship advances this team 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. Ranger boats will be provided for the high school anglers to fish from at the regional championship. 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. Lambert & Conlon will also receive a travel allowance to help offset expenses when traveling to the tournament. The High School Fishing National Championship winners will also each receive a $5,000 scholarship to use at the university of their choice.
“We were casting in the grass beds around the lake and we pretty much fished that way the entire day. Our goal was to get a limit of fish first and then worry about catching any big ones after that. When we came to the scale and saw that there were only a couple of teams with limits, we were feeling pretty good,” said Lambert & Conlon.
The duo not only had the largest bag, but also landed a 6 ½ pound lunker to help rocket their total weight, giving them a 4.37 lb advantage over the second place team from Tavares High School Bulldawgs, Grady Maynard and David Buckner. The duo from Tavares High School team also had a limit of bass that weighed 8.8 lbs.
Finishing in a very close 3rd place with just 2 fish that weighed 8.78 lbs were Bartow High School Yellow Jackets’ Michael Boswell and David Matos. They also landed a nearly 6 ½ pounder that weighed 6.46 lbs.
|Tyler Lambert/Christopher Conlon
Sarasota Military Academy Eagles
|Grady Maynard/David Buckner
Tavares High School Bulldawgs
|Michael Boswell/David Matos
Bartow High School – Yellow Jackets
|Zach Ford/Austin Murray
Florida River Rats
|Corbin Smith/Tanner Hickey
Harmony High School
|Cody Helmuth/Robert Hasbrouck
|Nick Thliveros/Montana Reinschmidt
Bartram Trail High School, Bears
|Clark Futch/Tyler Reeves
Plant City Bassmasters
|Hamilton Brown/Tyler Eberhart
Plant City Bassmasters
Every team member that competed in this high school state championship was also a Certified Student Angler. Each team member completed the free online quiz that asks the angler questions about boater safety, invasive species and angler ethics. Every angler is given a completion certificate to print at the end, which they have to bring to registration. At registration, they were given a sticker to display on their boat, making them eligible for bonus contingency awards. The quiz can be found on HighSchoolFishing.org. The Contingency Awards for this event was sponsored by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission.
The State Champs have some advice for anyone who is interested in getting involved with high school fishing, “We are looking forward to the other opportunities that this program is creating. Just get the materials that you need to start a club and get out and get going!” For more information about how to get started with high school fishing, visit our website at www.highschoolfishing.org.