Here is a relatively new program many of us would like to see “take off”. You can expect me to at least occasionally blog about this because I want to keep giving it some publicity.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) is committed to increasing opportunities for Nebraska youth to go fishing. In 2010, we learned about The Bass Federation’s Student Angler Federation (SAF) and their ability to promote and sponsor bass fishing clubs and state, regional, and national high school fishing tournaments. We at Game and Parks are excited about partnering with TBF in these efforts, but we need your help to make the program effective.
In 2011, Tony Munter of the NGPC North Platte Fish Hatchery and Kent Priel of North Platte, a member of the TBF of Nebraska Sportsman Bass Club, helped form a SAF high school fishing club in the North Platte area called the Lincoln County Bass Bosses (LCBB). These men and the LCBB kids held a state tournament at Maranatha Lake in September, and then sent the two state champions (Adam Diehl and Drew Bailey) to the regional tournament at Somerville Lake, College Station, Texas. Adam and Drew WON that tournament and will be competing in the National High School Championship in South Carolina in April. We wish them the very best!
We are already planning the 2012 State Tournament. Last year’s tournament was organized on short notice to qualify two students for the regional tournament (we obviously got two good ones). For this year’s State Tournament, we have more time and want to include more youth and teams from across the state. To increase participation in the tournament, we need your help to:
- Identify and support students who are interested in participating in SAF fishing activities.
- Help form and support new SAF high school clubs.
- Support and assist with a Nebraska State High School Fishing Tournament.
Identifying and Supporting Students
Why do we need you? You are the guys who know how to fish, actually go fishing, have the equipment, and can teach kids how to fish. You are also spread across the state and have contact with kids who want to fish. Most importantly, you belong to an organization that is committed to promoting fishing to kids.
If you have children, neighbor kids, grand children, nephews and nieces, friends of friends, or some kid you don’t yet know who wants to learn how to fish – get them hooked up with this opportunity, take them fishing and get them prepared to compete in the 2012 Nebraska State High School Fishing Tournament.
NGPC is your organizer, cheerleader, and TBF sponsor, and we plan to assist you and kids who want to be involved. You make the kid contacts, get them out fishing, and we assure you there will be a Nebraska State High School Fishing Tournament in cooperation with TBF and SAF!
SAF High School Fishing Clubs
High school kids enjoy activities with their peers, and fishing clubs would allow them to enjoy fishing, just as they would if they were involved with traditional sports. Fishing clubs allow many students, including those who are not athletically-inclined or engaged, to participate in a school and team activity. It doesn’t matter if you are 6 foot 4 or 4 foot 6, a girl or boy, to excel at this activity. However, it takes an adult to put it all together, to form, support, and sponsor high school fishing clubs.
NGPC and TBF can help. Larry Pape will be happy to answer questions about his experience in setting up the LCBB club. We will be here to assist you with the details of organizing your club, completing the TBF forms, etc. The following are a link to and an excerpt from the TBF-SAF website: http://www.highschoolfishing.org/getting-started/.
Student Angler Federation, (SAF) clubs are gearing up for another exciting year of High School Fishing. Starting a school club is simple. There are new and exciting SAF opportunities waiting for you, so let’s breakdown this easy process.
First, contact TBF , http://www.highschoolfishing.org/contact-us/ . Then, TBF will send out a free School Packet containing a link to the 15 minute video, a sample workbook, and information on starting a SAF club. Review the materials and show the video to a teacher, principal or advisor. If they can’t help you get started, contact the TBF National Youth Director, Mark Gintert, at firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
2012 Nebraska State High School Fishing Tournament
Date: Saturday, July 28th, 2012
Location: Summit Lake, Burt County
Time: 7 AM to 1 PM (Safety meeting and final registration starting at 6 AM)
The tournament will be held according to TBF and SAF sanctioned rules. Every student angler will have to register on the TBF-SAF website. You will notice that the website states that SAF clubs must have at least six members to form a club, and individuals join under a club. We prefer to have clubs with at least six competitors and three or more boats at the State Tournament. But, to accommodate students from small schools, special arrangements can be made to provide opportunity for those unable to be part of a six-person club. Contact Larry Pape for details.
Students will fish the State Tournament as two-person teams, with the boat operated by an adult coach or mentor. The winners of this State Tournament will be given the opportunity to attend the 2012 SAF Regional Tournament (location and date to be determined).
In summary, here’s what we would like you to do:
Find kids interested in fishing, especially competitive bass fishing.
- Determine if you and your Nebraska TBF Club can form a high school club.
- Contact Larry Pape if you want to form a club or have questions.
- We will then guide you into our volunteer registration system that allows us to communicate easily.
- Contact Larry Pape if you have students who want to join a club or have questions.
- We will assist them in getting signed up for SAF and guide them into student registration system that allows us to communicate easily.
- Give us your ideas, opinions, and concerns.
Thanks for considering this opportunity to participate in a program intended to recruit more kids to fishing!
On a related note, here is a report about a recent Nebraska High School Fishing Tournament:
The Lincoln County Bass Bosses hosted their first tournament event of the year at Lake McConaughy, Nebraska on May 20th. High-Skies and very little wind challenged the local high school SAF club with post-frontal conditions but a few nice smallmouth and largemouth bass were weighed in.
Six teams competed in the Lake McConaughy shootout. All boats were launched at 8 am and returned at 1 pm. Many new comers to the club attended, with one team of “underdogs” taking the lake by storm and placing 2nd. But alas, the veterans of the club still held their ground, taking 1st and 3rd place.
Teams had the option to try their hands at the largemouth, nearing spawn, down at the west end of the lake or smallmouth near the clear waters of the dam. While some tried for largemouth it seemed the smallmouth reigned supreme in the end with a majority of the fish weighed in being smallmouths.
1st place: Dijon Roberts & Tel Pyzer -3 fish for 6.58 lbs.
2nd place: Kylan Rhodes & Dillon Thompson – 3 fish for 6.12 lbs.
3rd place: Ashley Armstrong & Adam Diehl – 1 fish for 2.14 lbs.
4th place: Grant Pavelka & Tyler Rowland – 1 fish for 2.02 lbs.
The team of Dijon and Tel not only took 1st place but also had the biggest bass of the tournament with a 2.84 lb. smallmouth.
Special thanks to Kent Priel and members of the Lincoln County Bassmaster adult club who volunteered their time, boats, and guidance for this tournament. Also, a special thanks to Ace Hardware of North Platte and Priel Style Baits of North Platte for donating our tournament prizes.
By Adam Diehl/Secretary-Treasurer Lincoln County Bass Bosses