Van Ert & Sellnow Fight Through the Rain To Become the New Wisconsin High School State Champions

PONCA CITY (Aug. 30, 2012) – A full day of rainy conditions on the Madison Chain was no match for this Watertown High School fishing team. Battling through the rains leading by a little over a pound, Mitchel Van Ert & Steven Sellnow pulled ahead with 6 fish that weighed 13.59 lbs to secure the state champions title, and make their way into the conference championship at Lake Carlyle Sept. 8th in Illinois. The 2012 Wisconsin High School Fishing State Championship was hosted by the Wisconsin Bass Federation at Lake Farm County Park near Madison, Wisc.

Finishing in a close second was Shane McQuitty and Josh Schmirler of the Junior Brush Hawgs SAF club. They had 6 that weighed 12.45 lbs. Third place was The Sauk Prairie Eagles team, with Wyatt Stout & Max Stawinoga fighting hard for the title, weighing in 12.38 lbs.

It was a frog-flippin’ frenzy, as the popular bait was the famous top-water frog baits. Half of the competition went into the large lake, and half decided to keep within the narrow channels of the Madison Chain. Needless to say the top-water strategy was the most widely used, amongst the downpour that morning.

Even with rainy conditions, there was still a large crowd of families and friends, cheering on their teams. The Wisconsin Sea Grant team was there to help spread the Aquatic Invasive Species message, Clean – Drain – Dry, and even reported updates and pictures all day via Twitter.

The winning two-person team from each state championship will advance to an FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing Conference Championship held in conjunction with a National Guard FLW College Fishing Conference Championship. Those winners will advance to the FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing National Championship held in conjunction with the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship in the spring of 2013.

All SAF members and state championship participants qualify for the largest event in high school fishing, the 2013 High School Fishing World Finals to compete for thousands of dollars in college scholarships and prizes. Each team that qualifies for a conference and/or national championship will receive a travel allowance to help offset expenses. The National Champions will also each receive a $5,000 scholarship to use at the university of their choice.

If you’re interested in starting a High School Fishing club at your school, please visit for details on the Student Angler Federation (SAF). Cost is only $25/ year and includes full TBF and FLW Outdoors benefits, including access to the all-new FLW Outdoors Magazine e-Edition and insurance coverage for students and their club.

For information on how to join the new and exciting sport of high school bass fishing, visit Find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @hs_fishing.