Jared Raymer and Ethan Snyder-2010 High School Fishing World Finals Champions


2010 High School Fishing World Finals Champs - Ethan Snyder and Jared Raymer

July 24, 2010 – Raymer and Snyder, from Meade County High School sealed the deal today with a sweet victory on the finale of the inaugural 2010 High School Fishing World Finals on lake.  Both walked away with $4,000/yr up to four year scholarships totaling $16,000 a piece/$32,000 from Bethel University, spots on the Bethel University Varsity Fishing team, $500 Cabelas gift cards, new Compaq laptops, a Berkley Prize Package including a Revo Reel and 30% Pure Fishing on  the TBF website, plus some heavy jewelry.  The weights were zeroed for the final day of competition, making the playing field level and the weigh-in intense.  Raymer and Synder were the last to the stage.  With only the team from North Canyon High School in their way, the Meade County team excited the crowd and themselves as the scale read 16lbs 2ounces, pulling them ahead by 2lbs to win it.

Raymer and Snyder earned the right to be called champions and did so with class.  Throughout the event these anglers displayed consistency, determination and sportsmanship at every corner.  In the end, their teamwork paid off.  “We found this one grass mat that held our fish the whole week,” Raymer said.  “We were throwing a strike king with a grey shad on it and we lived and died by the sword on that spot.  If there were no fish there we would have been in trouble all week,” Raymer said.  “Yeah, we just circled around, circled around, circled around,” Snyder added.  They proved to be consistent in their improvements each day.  Day one with three fish, day two with four, and today, with five fish both anglers stuck to their topwater pattern and never gave up.  “It just got better every day because we dialed in on what we needed to be doing,” Snyder said.  “It’s actually funny because we came into this event thinking a swim jig was what was going to work for us, and half way through the first day we just randomly tried out that grey shad; we had never thrown the bait in our lives,” Raymer said.  “It paid out big for us.”

The winning team was not the only team who won big; the remaining top six teams did not leave home empty-handed.  The second place finishers, Thomas Chambers and Brandon Koon of North Canyon High School, caught five fish weighing 14lbs 8ounces and were awarded trophies, $300 Cabelas gift cards, mini laptops and a Berkley Package including a Revo Reel and 30% Pure Fishing on TBF web.  The third place team was, Sawyer Grace and Austen Cathcart of Russellville High School. They caught five fish weighing 12lbs 3ounces and received trophies, $200 Cabela’s gift cards, Flat Screen HD TVs and a Berkley Package including a Revo Reel and 30% of Pure Fishing on TBF web.  In fourth, the team from Dover High School, Austin Moody and Aimee Cresswell with four fish weighing 10lbs 14ounces.  They received $200 Cabela’s gift cards, two Sony WII’s and Berkley’s Prize Package.  In fifth, Jonny Schultz and Thomas Rose, Jr. from Episcopal Collegiate High School had three fish weighing 8lbs 5ounces.  They received $150 Cabela’s gift cards two IPOD touches and the Berkley Prize Package.  Sam Starr and Brady Sherman from McPherson High School came in sixth and received $100 Cabela’s gift cards, two portable DVD Players and the Berkley Prize Package.  In seventh, respectively is the team from Farragut High School who received $50 Cabela’s gift cards, two IPOD Shuffles and the Berkley Prize Package.

This week was not only about fishing, but also education and why it’s important for the future.  In turn, four specific awards were handed out to highlight just that.  In addition, two awards were all about who traveled the farthest and which team brought the most school spirit with them.  First, the Conservation Award, sponsored by Rideout Lumber, looked for the team who took care of their catch the best.  This was awarded to Jenna Beam and James Maywald from Ponca City High School.  Next, the Boater Safety Award, sponsored by Arkansas Game and Fish, was unanimously given to Jordan Burdette and Brandon Merical from Farragut High School.  The Marketing Award, sponsored by Ranger Boats, was awarded to the Dover High School team for their tremendous efforts promoting their team and the sport of high school fishing.  They received a $250 Ranger Clothing Voucher.  Another award was the Sportsmanship Award, sponsored by Wilkins Brothers, which hands down went to the team from Pottsville High School, Hunter Daniel and Corey Mckown.  These anglers let a team from Dover High School have their water because they knew they had a shot at the top seven; they received brand new rods and glasses.  The anglers who traveled the farthest received the Going the Distance Award and $100 gas card.  Traveling 1224 miles was the winning team from North Canton High School in Phoenix, Ariz, Brandon Koon and Thomas Chambers.  Last but not least, was the School Spirit Award, sponsored by Cogswell Motors.  Baylee Jo Linker and Haley McGuire from Pottsville High School received this award and $100 Wilkins Brothers gift card.

Additional prize winners were one lucky member of the crowd who took home a $1,000 Cabela’s gift card by entering his name in a drawing we advertised all week and a TBF high school fishing member who won a Sony Wii for winning a dance/surfboard competition we had at the Friday night Celebration Party.  There were so many opportunities to win prizes and several of the high school anglers went home with tons of merchandise, and hopefully a week they will remember for the rest of their lives.

For final results, click here.

18lb 10ounces Set the Bar High-Top 7 Advance to the Final Contest

July 23, 2010 – Changes on Lake Dardanelle slowed the bite, but not for some who rose above the pack to solidify their spots on the final day of competition.  These top seven teams advance to battle it out to see who will become the first High School Fishing World Finals Champions.  Tomorrow will decide who goes home with the titles and a prize package never seen in the industry. Champions will receive $32,000 in scholarships-$4,000/yr per winning angler up to four years-from Bethel University, spots on the Bethel University Collegiate Bass Fishing team, which is treated like any other college varsity sport team, thousands in prizes, including $500 Cabelas gift cards, and so much more.  History is about to be made, and two high school anglers future’s changed forever.

With ounces to decide their fate in the top seven final cut, tension mounted.  In the end, Austin Moody and Aimee Cresswell, from Dover High School proved they’re packing the heat, seizing the lead with the tournament big bag of 18lb 10ounces making their tournament total 29lb 15ounces.  “I held my own; my fish was biggest, well until he got the bigger one,” Cresswell said.  “Not even 30 minutes after we pulled out we got our first fish, then not far along we hooked a 5 pounder,” Cresswell’s partner, Moody said.  The Dover High School teammates might have entered the final day in first place, but tomorrow weights will be zeroed and the playing field leveled.  “Our game plan for tomorrow is just to hit ‘em hard, catch a lot of fish, and have fun.”

The High School Fishing World Finals and the Student Angler Federation (SAF) is all about sportsmanship.  Moody and Cresswell give much credit and thanks to Hunter Daniel and Corey McKowan of the Pottsville High School fishing team.  Both teams came on the same water, but when Pottsville found out Dover was fighting for contention they pulled off.  “They let us have the entire area to ourselves and we want to thank them so very much; it’s just awesome of them.”

Day one leaders, Jordan Burdette and Brandon Merical from Farragut High School, slipped into the second spot today, but with weights zeroed it’s anybody’s game.  They brought two fish to the scales that weighed a total of 5lb 7ounces making their total going into the final day 21lb 7ounces.  “We want to thank our parents and thank God first for giving us the fish to catch,” Burdette and Merical said.  At a last minute hiccup, the Farragut High School team was short a boat captain and wasn’t going to attend the event.  However, a College Fishing angler from Kentucky, Kyle Raymer, who has a brother fishing the event volunteered to step in.  “Kyle is great; we want to thank him so much.”  They know without the support of their families and the fishing industry none of this could be possible as shouted while leaving the stage, “we would also like to thank pure poison fishing jigs.”

Perseverance is the key for the North Canyon High School team, of Thomas Chambers and Brandon Koon.  They caught five fish today weighing a whopping 15lb 9ounces compared to their 4lb 12ounce catch on day one, making their total 20lb 5ounces.  Chambers and Koon prove it’s never too late to give up.

Jared Raymer and Ethan Snyder from Meade County High School are in fourth with four fish today weighing 12lb 10ounces making their total 20lb 3ounces.  “I’m really proud of how me and Ethan fished today; we fished hard all day,” Raymer said.  Both anglers had a lot of praise for their parents and sponsors for helping them get this far.  They were also very proud for the support from the organizations and volunteers that made it all possible.  “We want to thank TBF and Russellville, Arkansas for all they did this week.  They took all their hard work and made this a really great event for us to fish.”

Tomorrow, everybody’s weights are zeroed; every team and every ounce starts again, as the top seven teams face each other and Dardanelle to see who can come from zero to everything and win it all.

For full results, click here.


History is in the Making – The Anglers are catching them at Dardanelle

Jordan Burdette & Brandon Merical - Farragut High School (TN)

July 22, 2010 – The 2010 High School Fishing World Finals ushered in a brand new world of competitive bass fishing today, as 76 high school teams from 17 states faced off on Lake Dardanelle, in Russellville, Ark. Two Student Angler Federation (SAF) high school anglers per team and some school sending multiple teams came together today to compete in this inaugural event-the first of its kind. All teams will fish two days and then the field will be cut to the top seven teams, weights zeroed on the final day and the finalists will vie for the championship titles, $32,000 in scholarships from Bethel University, thousands in prizes and, not to mention, school pride and all its glory. One team will earn the right to be called the 2010 High School Fishing World Finals Champions, in what is sure to be remembered as one of the defining moments in High School Fishing competitions and The Bass Federation’s 40 years in youth fishing.
More than any other, this event will come down to ounces and each team had the opportunity to gain 12 bonus ounces by doing well on two different written tests. One on Invasive Species/Conservation and one on Boater Safety/Navigation.

For the Farragut High School fishing team, they are ready to get back out on the water. Leading the pack with a five bass limit weighing 15lb 4oz and two perfect test scores resulting in a 12 ounce push are Jordan Burdette and Brandon Merical, from Knoxville, Tenn. with 16lbs total. Burdette and Merical seized the opportunity to weigh-in early, with almost two hours remaining to fish. “We fished only one day of practice; so, the water we found is probably the water we’ll be staying in tomorrow,” Farragut HS teammates said. One crucial addition to their strategy is also what brought them to the scales early. “We figured that was enough to get us into the top seven as long as we can bring in another good bag.” A cushion of only eight ounces separates them from second and less than 5lb from seventh; tomorrow will decide if what they bring will be enough. “We’ll see; hate to count your chickens before they hatch, but we think it will hold.”

Jonny Shultz & Thomas Rose, Jr. - Episcopal Collegiate High School

Looking to close the gap, are Jonny Schultz and Thomas Rose, Jr., representing Episcopal Collegiate High School, in Little Rock, Ark. They caught a five bass limit and also got perfect test scores as well, making their total weight 15lb 2ounces. “We had a really good day,” Schultz and Rose said. “It was kind of strange actually; we only caught one fish in four days of pre-fishing, then we got to our first spot and were just pounding ‘em.” The Episcopal Collegiate anglers fished for about two hours during the day to find their limit and are confident in their chances. “We both caught a lot of fish and we’re going to try and catch them the same way tomorrow; 10lbs more should keep us in the top seven for the final day.” However, these anglers were quick to point out. “This is Lake Dardanelle; factors like the water depth and current make it anybody’s game, so, if it’s our tournament, then it’s our tournament.”

Like several high school anglers who came across the stage today, Schultz and Rose were proud to thank their families for support. The SAF and TBF created the High School Fishing World Finals for many reasons, this being the most important, young angler’s and their futures and families. The Episcopal Collegiate anglers echoed that. “We would also like to thank the TBF for giving high school students the opportunities to become better fishermen and better people.”

Full standings can be found here.
Day two weigh-in begins at Dardanelle state park Friday at 2:30, a family outdoors, complete with pro seminars and Range/Evinrude test rides is slated for Saturday right up until the final weigh-in at 2:30. All events are free to the public.