Back in 2017 Corey Williams started a youth bass fishing club because he wanted to teach his kids to love the sport as much as he did. Now, there is a whole group of kids with clubs in both our high school and middle schools! The added bonus too, is that now with our own local store, Boulder City BASS Boats and Tackle (1504 Boulder City Pkwy.), there’s a hub for these kids and adult enthusiasts to gather!
What is more, this year they competed in bass fishing competitions in Nevada and also in the National Championship this summer. They placed 25th out of 52 teams from 39 states and also Canada. The team (below) includes Robert Skerston, Rylan Garrett and Nicolas Skerston.
While these teams are not your typical school sports teams, that doesn’t mean they can’t be important. Bass fishing among junior high and high school students has exploded in the last decade, particularly since the pandemic. More and more people are learning to fish and children are among the demographic that continues to grow the sport.
While bass fishing clubs have been popular in the southern and midwestern United States for some time, there has been a proliferation of new clubs in the western United States. In Southern Nevada, there are a number of sport fishing clubs for younger boys and girls, including, our own Boulder City Bass Club (Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bouldercitybassclub) which is sponsored by Boulder City Bass Tackle.
Although bass fishing isn’t an official NCAA sport, colleges with teams usually belong to Association of Collegiate Anglers (ACA) who tallies the points that determine school of the year honors. There are several officially sanctioned groups who sponsor tournaments and teams earn points to determine the best school teams.
The first collegiate bass fishing school of the year was named in 2012 from a field of 159 colleges. Today, there are more than 600 teams across the United States!
National sponsors like Toyota, Pepsi, and the US Army as well as companies specific to the sport, offer tournaments to high school and college level anglers with prizes as lucrative as $1 million. In 2021, a pair of students from Auburn University, Tucker Smith and Logan Parks, won over a million dollars in cash and additional prizes for winning the Bass Pro Shops U.S. Open National Bass Fishing Amateur Team Championship on Table Rock Lake in Missouri (Source: https://www.waff.com/2021/11/27/auburn-students-win-1-million-bass-fishing-tournament/) Some sponsors and universities also offer scholarships, and this will vary from tournament to tournament.
Fishing is a fun hobby, but it can also help students achieve their goals of attending college. Several local high schools and homeschooling groups have formed teams that compete in sanctioned tournaments all over the southwestern United States. Several events take place throughout the year at Lakes Mead, Mohave, and Powell.
Additionally, groups like National Scouting Report, an organization that scouts students for traditional college sports like football, softball, etc. are now sending scouts to fishing tournaments across the country. “The timing is finally right. We have a strong passion for tournament fishing and have been patiently waiting for the last few years. With the explosion of High School and Collegiate fishing, now is the time for NSR to help these fishing recruits” – Rusty Rigney, CEO of NSR.
Locally, if you want to know more, go see Rob Sanford locally at his BC Bass and Tackle shop. Every Tuesday at 6pm they have kids oriented classes and then Thursday evenings, he is talking to folks of all ages about where and how to fish locally. Rob is a treasure trove of knowledge and even a person with only a mild interest will catch ‘fishing fever’ if you listen to him.
The weather is mellowing, so some of the BEST fishing of the year comes in these next couple of months. Let’s see our local shop get even more popular, and support these young kids and families as they enjoy one of America’s most favored pastimes!
Upcoming Lake Mead Fishing Tournaments (per LMNRA):
- September 9 Nevada Bass Anglers at Willow Beach
- October 7 Nevada Bass Anglers at Temple Bar
- December 9 Nevada Bass Anglers at Temple Bar
Upcoming Lake Mohave Fishing Tournaments:
- October 16-18: Western Outdoor News (WON) Bass US Open
Major League Fishing (High School Circuit): https://majorleaguefishing.com/circuits/high-school/
Student Angler Federation: https://highschoolfishing.org/sponsors/
National Scouting Report (NSR) Fishing: https://www.nsrfishing.com/about-us.html