The 2011 Kansas TBF High School Championship held on Wilson Lake, in Russell County named Sam Starr and Brady Sherman the first Kansas High State Champions last weekend. All the high school anglers caught several fish out there and each team brought in a limit of five bass, making it a great day of fishing for everyone. Starr and Sherman caught a limit weighing 12lb 8ounces to seal the deal, just five ounces ahead of the second place finishers. The two-man team started out with a bang catching a limit of keepers within the first 15 minutes. But, the wind picked up and the team’s catching streak fizzled. With only two hours left the team returned to their original spot and started to pull in one after another. Starr switched to a jig, an Okeechobee Craw from Real Deal Custom Tackle, and began to land larger keepers. Sherman tied on a jig and followed suit. The rest is in the 12lb 8ounces win and the 2011 Kansas High School State Champion titles.
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 and use of a Ranger boat for the event. 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.
All teams who entered and competed at this event qualify for the largest event in high school fishing, the 2011 High School Fishing World Finals, July 18-23 in Russellville, Ark. (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 2011 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 Russell County, the Kansas TBF, 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! We couldn’t do this without you.