Tipton High School Wins Inaugural Indiana High School Bass Fishing Championship

Sept. 10, 2011 – Hoosier Hills Marina on beautiful Patoka Lake in Southern Indiana provided the perfect location for Andy Hinkle and Keegan Gray from Tipton High School to win the inaugural Indiana High School Student Angler Federation State Bass Fishing Championship.  The Tipton duo narrowly got by the team of Greg Zellers and Brody McWilliams representing Winamac High School who finished second, and were also SAF Certified Student Anglers.

The Tipton team brought in two nice Patoka Lake largemouth bass that tipped the scales at 5.48 lbs. narrowly edging the Zellers/McWilliams team who brought in an almost identical pair that weighed in at 5.41 lbs.

Tipton High School was one of the first High Schools in the state to organize and run their school fishing club under The Bass Federation’s Student Angler Federation. Their school team has 10 members who have been fishing against themselves in club level events this fall.

“This feels great,” commented Andy Hinkle from the Tipton duo. “We caught our keeper fish early today on Buzz Baits in some fairly shallow water. Things got pretty slow after that although we did catch several short fish throughout the day.”

Both anglers wanted to take the time to thank not only the sponsors for their school club but also the Indiana Bass Federation and all the boat captains for taking the time to put this event together. The also praised their school club advisor Mr. Strait for helping them start their school club.

Finishing in 3rd place was Tommy Sudarth & Tyler Land – North Putnam High School. They had a weight of 4.35 lbs.

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. 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.

Teams who entered and competed at this event, if still eligible, will be qualified to fish in the largest event in high school fishing, the 2012 High School Fishing World Finals (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 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.Three teams in this tournament were Certified Student Anglers. 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 the Indiana Bass Federation, Jeff Dukes, Owner of Hoosier Hills Marina, Kevin Manley the executive Director of the Dubois County Visitors Center & Tourism Commission for welcoming our anglers and parents at the registration/rules meeting held at the Jasper Inn and Convention Center in Jasper on Friday night, 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.

For more information, results and news with SAF High School Fishing, please visit www.highschoolfishing.org, Facebook.com/highschoolfishing or follow on Twitter @hs_fishing.