PONCA CITY, Okla. (April 7, 2010) – The Bass Federation announced today it will conduct the inaugural High School Fishing World Finals in Russellville, Ark. on Lake Dardanelle, July 19-24, 2010. Anglers from more than 15 U.S. States and Canada are expected to attend this pinnacle event of TBF’s Student Anglers Federation and the rapidly expanding High School Fishing segment. All Student Angler Federation affiliated high school fishing clubs are eligible to register and attend this inaugural event and there is plenty of time left to get any High School club signed up.

Russellville, Ark. and the state of Arkansas Fish and Game have pledged an active role and support in the event. “Russellville is excited to be the host site for the 2010 High School Fishing World Finals, we look forward to having these high school students and their families here for the week, which will bring great economic impact into our community, as well as, allow them to see what a great lake area we have,” Christie Graham, Executive Director of the Russellville Tourism said.

According to TBF President, Robert Cartlidge, “The event will be centered on education, scholarships, catching fish and having fun; we intend to do all this with no entry fee to the event. In the future, there will be a format for who attends the event. However, the first one will be the tournament that anglers years from now will look back on and say, “I fished the first one, in Russellville” and we want to include as many as we can. The Student Anglers Federation has grown rapidly and our team has put together a unique plan to handle as many High School Teams who wish to register and try their hand at becoming the first High School Fishing World Champion.” Cartlidge continued, “If we have 100 boats or 1,000 boats this first year we’re ready for that, the more the better for the kids. Over time, we will grow; our plan is unlike anything the fishing industry has ever seen, and it will accommodate more boats at one event than there has ever been and do it in a fair and competitive format.”

The High School World Fishing Finals was designed around a very unique model never used in the fishing industry, but still incorporates items from sports longest running and most successful events. The event will settle into a “home” much like “March Madness” is with basketball. High School anglers and their families will know July is the time to vacation to the High School Fishing World Finals. The importance of education will be reinforced during the event with two simple written quizzes required of each contestant, one on boater safety & ethics and one on invasive species & conservation. The results will have an impact on the final weights and event outcome. As stated, the event field is virtually unlimited in size to be as inclusive as possible. TBF organizers want to grow the event to 1,000 or more boats competing and have a solid plan to properly manage those numbers. There will be no entry fees for the High School Teams. Each Student Angler Federation affiliated High School club can send as many two person teams they wish this first year. Each team secures its own boat to fish from and an adult non-fishing boat captain over 21 years old to drive the boat. The event’s “payout” will be in the form of thousands of dollars in post high school education scholarships, medals and trophies, and significant prizes for the anglers and for their High Schools. Students from all public and private schools that have graduated from the eighth grade, but have not started their freshman year of college are eligible to compete on a High School Fishing Team. Lake Dardanelle will go off-limits on Tuesday July 6 to all competitors until the start of the first practice day July 18. There will be multiple activities during the week culminating with official tournament days of July 22-24. Full details, entry forms and rules can be found on the website at highschoolfishing.org.

“For High School fishing, this is the culmination of years of hard work by a lot of dedicated people. All the state federations have supported young anglers since the very first federation was formed more than 40 years ago; youth is one of the federation’s cores values,” TBF National Youth Director, Mark Gintert, stated. “Over the years, others have stepped forward as well to serve the next generation of anglers, people such as, Ron Duncan, who helped model the national initiative “Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs” and industry veteran Terry Brown, president of Wired2Fish.com who started a “labor of love” that took eight years to get high school fishing in the schools and approved as a varsity sport in his home state of Illinois. The work done by Brown and director Dave Gannaway in Illinois is the “gold” standard in High School Fishing.” Gintert goes on to say, “There are many others “out there” working hard to help young people. They all deserve to share in the credit on getting things this far. By all accounts, the next logical step is to bring them all together for a true High School Fishing World Finals.”

The High School World Fishing Finals will be centered on a low cost family vacation of fun and festivities in and around Russellville, Ark. With its central location right off I-40, Russellville has everything for a perfect event where the high school anglers will be the stars of the show and a first class fishery and state park will highlight Lake Dardanelle.

The Bass Federation Inc., (TBF), is the oldest and largest, organized grassroots fishing organization in America. TBF is owned by those it serves and is dedicated to the sport of fishing. TBF affiliated state federations and their member clubs conduct more than 20,000 fishing, youth and conservation events at the local level each year, and have provided the foundation for the entire bass fishing industry for more than 40 years.

For more information about The Bass Federation, visit bassfederation.com, or call 580.765.9031.

For more information about Student Anglers Federation, visit highschoolfishing.org, or call 580.765.9031


Kenston Forest Kavalier Bass Assassins Sandy River Showdown

(3/28/10) What event could possibly get today’s teenagers out of bed at 0430 on a Sunday? An opportunity to compete in the first ever Student Angler Federation Bass Tournament in Virginia.   Sunday  March 28th 2010, 12 members of the Kenston Forest Kavalier Bass Assassins competed  with one another in an internal school qualifier dubbed the Sandy River Showdown in Farmville, Virginia.  This was the first step of the journey towards crowning the first Student Angler Federation School and individual champions.

The competitors are divided into two age groups, 11-14 years old and 15-18 years old. They compete head to head against others in their age group with place finishes determined by total weight.  The results  in the 15-18 year old group were: 1st Place, Orrey Lloyd with 8.06 pounds and Big Fish for the Tournament , a 7.10 pound monster.  2nd Place, Austin Slatyon with 1.46 pounds, 3rd Place, Lucas Lloyd with .81 pounds.  4th place, Allison Cheely, 5th Place, Margaux Hall, 6th place, John Chipper and 7th place, Michaela McGhee.  In the 11-14 year old group; 1st Place, Carl Schwabenton with 2.2 pounds, 2nd Place, Steven Baldwin with .91 pounds, 3rd Place, Willie Wright.  4th Place, Brian Chipper and 5th Place, Lex Schwabenton.  Congratulations to all of our competitors.

This was an awesome event even though the weather was brutally cold on the young competitors.  It’s success can be attributed directly to Kenston Forest School, its enthusiastic students and supportive parents, the volunteer Boat Captains; Reuben and Chris Williams, Jason Hensley(Sandy River Bassmasters, Region 6); Ben Nice (Region 3); Ken Kirk (K2 Guide Service); Mark McGhee (Regional Pro)and Jay Strawser (Assistant Coach, KFS).   KFS Team Coach and event coordinator, Michael “Doc” McGhee (Ft. Pickett Post Command Sergeant Major and National Guard Fishing Team Pro) and Tournament Director, Tim Mick who  also serves as the TBF-Va State Youth Director. Additional thanks to Region 6 for use of its weigh in trailer, Haley Ford, Lowrance, FLW, the National Guard, Veterans of Foreign Wars Virginia, Wiley X and Automotive Excellence in Blackstone, Va.

The Student Angler Federation is a new program within the ranks of the Bass Federation which brings bass competition to the middle and high school level.  The TBF pillars of Youth, Conservation and Fishing sit on a foundation of Education. The SAF functions both as a fishing club with elected officers and a mission of developing students civically and as a sports team with levels of competition in Districts and the State.  Kenston Forest once again demonstrated its “lead by example” philosophy and started the first  Club/Team in the Buggs Island/Gaston District as well as Virginia. Since then Jefferson Forrest in Bedford has introduced another Club/Team and explosive growth is expected throughout Virginia as word of this opportunity is spread.

Maryville, TN Middle School Bass Club Going Strong!

Heard the phrase, “Hook, line, and sinker?” Literally speaking fisherman want the fish to swallow the bait fully- hook, line, and sinker. This old adage refers to accepting another’s point of view.   It seems that Maryville Middle School in Maryville, TN has bought the idea of having a fishing club: hook, line, and sinker. In fact they are the only middle school in the state of Tennessee with a Bass Club. In the spring of 2009 Physical Education teacher David Clark contacted Mark Gintert (National Youth Director of the Bass Federation) to inquire about Target Fishing. He generously donated ten targets to the Maryville Middle Physical Education department in hopes that the school would draw student interest to form a club. With the support of Ott DeFoe, professional fisherman with FLW Outdoors and Dave Prossor, Maryville Middle School students experienced the art of Target Fishing. DeFoe gave a short presentation to each class, demonstrated fishing, assisted students and allowed them a personal look in his boat.   Dave Prossor of Academy Sports + Outdoors donated fishing equipment to the P.E. department. “I could not have organized this without the help of Mark Gintert, Ott DeFoe, Dave Prossor, and Greg Newman,” shares Clark. Through an article in the local newspaper, Newman discovered that the middle school wanted to have a Bass Club. His club, Little River Bassmasters, is now the school sponsor. “I’ve been fishing since nine years old and I think it’s very important to pass along the enjoyment of the outdoors to others. Fishing is something that anyone can do because it’s not limited to age or physical boundaries. It allows kids to get out of the house and into the outdoors and is something they can do with family or friends,” states Newman.

The club has 28 members and was recently awarded the largest new club membership in 2009, by The Bass Federation.   Gintert with TBF will present the award to the club in April. In addition, these organizations sponsor the club: Wal-Mart, C&C Outdoors in Louisville, TN, U.S.Boat Angler, Pure Fishing, UltimateBass.com, Gemini Sports Marketing, Wired2Fish.com, Little River Bassmasters, the club’s pro angler support team, and other parent volunteers. Through their help they were able to provide the club with fishing jerseys.

Meetings are held monthly and include guest speakers such as pro-anglers, a TWRA Resource officer who discussed boating safety and fish care, and a how sponsorships are acquired.

This year the club held two tournaments, one in the fall and spring. Twenty-four members attended the fall event at Fort Loudon Lake. With the help of professional fishermen and parents, it was a huge success. Clark’s goal for next year is to have three to four tournaments. They are looking forward to FLW Tour and the TBF Championship held in Knoxville, TN this April. The club will be involved in various activities at the events.

If anyone would like more information on how to form a school bass club or would like to assist them, please visit their website or email David Clark.

Maryville Middle Bass Club: http://www.maryvillecityschools.k12.tn.us/education/club/club.php?sectionid=1954&