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Multi-Year Partnership Brings High School Fishing World Finals Back To Pickwick Lake

Ponca City, Okla.—August 6, 2015—An extended partnership with Florence Lauderdale Tourism will bring the prestigious High School Fishing World Finals back to Alabama’s legendary Pickwick Lake.

The tourism board last week approved a multi-year contract extension to host the pinnacle event in all of High School Fishing, with dates for 2016 already set for June 28-July 2.

Open to all students participating in the Student Angler Federation’s High School Fishing program, the World Finals is the “granddaddy” of all of high school fishing tournaments and the largest open championship in the nation.

Pickwick has already proven a great venue for the event. The 2015 HSF World Finals, held on Pickwick July 8-11, drew 166 two-person teams from 22 states during the four-day competition, held July 8-11.

“We are absolutely thrilled to return to Florence,” said The Bass Federation’s national youth director, Mark Gintert, who orchestrates the Student Angler Federation. “The entire city and staff from the Florence Lauderdale Tourism group were just terrific in 2015, and we look forward to a long relationship working with them.”

Suzie Shoemaker of Florence Lauderdale Tourism said the group is equally ecstatic over the extended partnership.

“We are very excited to bring the High School Fishing World Finals back to Pickwick Lake for multiple years,” she said. “High school anglers will be competing to find the biggest Pickwick Lake bass and take home the title of World Champions!”

Judging by this season’s World Finals results, young anglers will have plenty of great bass fishing options to choose from on Pickwick.

South Carolina’s Derek Freeman and Trevor Callaham won the four-day showdown with daily limits weighing 17-12, 15-8, 15-9 and 20-2. They weighed all largemouths, despite Pickwick’s propensity to produce nice-size smallmouths and spotted bass.

They focused on main-lake ledges primarily in 14 to 23 feet of water. Top presentations included deep-diving crankbaits, ½- to 5/8-ounce hair jigs, drop-shotting 6-inch worms and tipping shaky-head jigs with 10½-inch worms.

Freeman and Callaham earned over $20,000 in college scholarships, prizes and Cabela’s gift cards with their win; $18,000 of that total was in college scholarships, $8,000 to any school of their choice as well as an additional $10,000 if they chose to attend Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee.

The World Finals present one of the most unique and fair formats in competitive fishing today. Competition begins with anglers competing the first two days against teams from their own states. The top two teams from each state then advance on to the semi-final round on day three. Those who did not qualify for the semi-finals are placed in a consolation round, where they have yet another chance to make it to the finals, much like how double-elimination baseball tournaments work.

“Our kids come to fish and we give them different chances to make it all the way,” Gintert explains. “But regardless of where a team finishes, everybody enjoys their time during championship week.”

Designed to give young anglers and their families an all-encompassing, fun-filled experience, the 2015 World Finals also included a pizza party, live concert and catfish banquet—courtesy of the Alabama Cooperative Extension office and the Catfish Growers Association of Alabama—plus a multi-species fishing tournament on day four for all teams who did not make it into the final round.

The SAF’s High School Fishing program is open to all high school-aged students whether public, private, home-schooled or participating in an after-school club. Sponsors include Ranger Boats, Cabela’s, Berkley, Evinrude, Lew’s, Lowrance Electronics, FLW Fishing League Worldwide, Booyah Bait Company, Mud Hole Custom Tackle and Shimano. For more information, visit highschoolfishing.org, email info@highschoolfishing.org, or call: (580) 765-9031.

Sypeck and Dolak Win Quad State Open and PA State Championship

High School Fishing LogoJordan Sypeck and Matthew Dolak brought a very impressive five fish limit of Chesapeake Bay bass to the scales that weighed in at 20.17lbs to win the Quad State Open and the Pennsylvania High School State Championship at Elk Neck State Park. Their big bag was anchored by a beauty that weighed in at 5.22lbs to propel the pair to victory in the event that brought together anglers from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The duo from the Lehigh Valley Bass club outdistanced the team of Tyler Ziegler and Cameron Strosser from the Lancaster County High School Team who also weighed in five fish that tipped the scales at 12.78 lbs to finish second.
Both of those teams will advance on to the Northern Conference Regional Championships at Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire in September.
Also advancing on and winning the Maryland State Championship was the team of Ivan Kortic and Logan Kuhrman from the Kenwood Bass Team. They had three fish that weighed in at 8.62lbs to win the event and advance on to the fall Conference Championship as well.
Rounding out the Regional Conference Championship qualifiers was the team of Vincent Pustizzi and Tim Nicholas from the New Breed Bass Club in New Jersey who also had three bass that weighed in at 10.35 lbs to claim the NJ top honors as well as advancing on to the Regional competition.
Delaware did not field a team in the event.
Special thanks goes out to tournament director Mike Sabbi and the Pennsylvania Bass Federation for once again hosting the event and providing a great day for all of the anglers.

For complete results check out the results page HERE

French and Nash of Shilder HS Tigers win the Oklahoma Title at Muskogee

For Immediate Release, Muskogee, Oklahoma

For weeks preceding the Oklahoma High School State Championship on the Arkansas River at Muskogee, Oklahoma flood waters and very high water flowage made everything uncertain. Would the river be safe to fish? Would the fish be in the mood to bite? What about all the barges that have been sitting waiting out the floods and itching to get going on the river? Would the locks be in play at all? These and many more questions were the angler’s dilemma for the 31 teams that registered for the event.
In the end, the river was pulled down to almost normal, there were many floating logs and debris on the river and it was scorching hot outside but it was safe to fish and the fishing was GREAT on practice day before the event. As is always the case, the real worry is the fish, will they bite on tournament day?
On tournament morning as the anglers were eager to take off from 3 forks Harbor, it was apparent to everything had changed overnight. It was still very hot and not a wisp of wind was to be had, the pool had dropped another 2 foot overnight now the questions was, would the fish still bit?
As is always the case, they will bite for someone but for most it was a tough day on the river.
Congratulations to Austin French and Dillion Nash of the Shidler, OK High School Tigers who managed to bring in a five fish limit that weighed a very respectable 14 pounds and 5 ounces! Austin and Dillion’s win earned them a spot in the 215 Southern Conference regional championship along with custom State Champions Jerseys, trophies and two Lews reels for also bringing in the days big bass of 3-11.

french and dillion OK winners with trophy
Finishing in second place and also qualifying for the conference championship was the team of Jacob Keenom and Kaden Knoch of the with 13-08 and the third and final team to advance was Rhett Meyer and Brent Girdner of the Stillwell High School Indians, they had a limit that weighed 11 pounds even.

OK 2nd OK 3rd Great job by all the teams who braved the heat to come out and fish, I think everyone there decided Oklahoma State Championship needed to be early next year to “beat the heat.”
The top 1 of each state championship advance so the three teams above will represent Oklahoma at the Southern Conference Regional event in Pine Bluff Arkansas in October. There they will attempt to qualify for the TBF/FLW High School National Championship next spring and a $10,000 college scholarship to the school of their choice.
Special thanks goes out to all the boat captains, the Muskogee Convention and Visitors Bureau , 3 Forks Harbor and to the Oklahoma Bass Federation of TBF for hosting the event.
Full results can be found on the results page HERE
Photo Albums are on our facebook page (be sure to “LIKE US”) HERE

North Platte Bass Team Takes Nebraska Title

DSC_0851The duo of Grant Pavelka and Tyler Rowland brought a 5 bass limit of fish to the Lewis and Clark Lake weigh-in site on Saturday that weighed in at 9.86 lbs. to capture the Nebraska SAF High School State Championship. They edged out Reese Cudaback and Eli Legget from Millard North High School who had three fish that weighed in at 5.84 lbs. to claim the runner-up spot. Rounding out the top three was the duo of Zane Leibhert and Brent Bergman from Lincoln County who also had three fish that weighed in at 4.86lbs.

Pavelka and Rowland will represent the state of Nebraska at the Southern Conference Regional event in Pine Bluff Arkansas in October. There they will attempt to qualify for the TBF/FLW High School National Championship next spring and a $10,000 college scholarship to the school of their choice.

Special thanks goes out to Larry Pape and the Nebraska Game and Parks staff and volunteers for hosting the event once again this year.

View Results

SAF Conference Championship Registration

Attention Conference Championship Qualifiers

Each of you has advanced from your state championship or one of our five TBF/FLW National Open events on to the Conference Championships which will take place this fall. The goal for each team from these events is to advance on to the TBF/FLW High School National Championship.

In each of the five Conference Championships we will advance 10% of the field (one boat for every 10) on to the National Championship which will take place next spring at a location to be announced.

Your journey to the Conference Championship starts with having your team register for your individual event.

If you didn’t qualify, you will not be able to register.

 

Central Conference Championship – DETAILS – REGISTER

September 12th on Lake Carlyle in Illinois.
Qualifiers from IL, IN, IA, MI, MN, ND, OH, SD, WV and WI are eligible to compete in this event.

 

Northern Conference Championship – DETAILS – REGISTER

September 18th on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.
Qualifiers from CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, ON, PA, RI, VT and VA are eligible to compete in this event.

 

Southeastern Conference Championship –  DETAILS – REGISTER

September 26th on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia.
Qualifiers from AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC and TN are eligible to compete in this event.

 

Western Conference Championship – DETAILS – REGISTER

September 27th on Clear Lake in California
Qualifiers from AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA and WY are eligible to compete in this event.

 

Southern Conference Championship – DETAILS – REGISTER

October 17th on Arkansas River in Pine Bluff Arkansas.
Qualifiers from AR, KS, LA, MO, NE, NM, OK and TX are eligible to compete in this event.

 

Freeman, Callaham Finish Strong To Win 2015 High School Fishing World Finals

Freeman, Callaham Finish Strong To Win 2015 High School Fishing World Finals

15HSFWF-w-fish

Florence, Ala.—July 11, 2015—South Carolina’s Derek Freeman and Trevor Callaham saved the best for last to claim the crown at the 2015 High School Fishing World Finals on Alabama’s legendary Pickwick Lake.

Representing T.L. Hanna High School in their hometown of Anderson, Freeman and Callaham rocketed up the leaderboard with a 20-pound, 2-ounce 5-fish limit to top the hard-fishing field of 166 two-person teams from 22 states during the four-day competition, held July 8-11.

“It’s extremely satisfying,” said Freeman, 18. “This is a true blessing,” added Callaham, also 18. “I couldn’t ask for anything else.”

Freeman and Callaham earned over $20,000 in college scholarships, prizes and Cabela’s gift cards with their win; $18,000 of that total was in college scholarships, $8,000 to any school of their choice as well as an additional $10,000 if they choose to attend Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee.15HSFWF-winners

Freeman currently plans to attend Clemson University, while Callaham will study at Tri-County Technical College this fall— and both plan to make fishing a big part of their futures.

Open to all students participating in the Student Angler Federation’s High School Fishing program, the World Finals is the largest open championship in the nation. The entire field competed head-to-head days one and two, after which the top two teams from each state advanced to square off in the semi-final round, where weights were zeroed; all other teams battled in a consolation round.

The top 10 teams from the semi-finals and the next top 10 from both the semi-finals and consolation round moved forward to the finals on day four. In addition, a special last-chance drawing gave one lucky team a golden ticket to the finals.

Freeman and Callaham weighed five bass for 17 pounds, 12 ounces on day one, landing in 7th overall. A 15-pound, 8-ounce day two limit propelled them to the semi-finals with a 33-pound, 4-ounce total that was the sixth-highest weight. They qualified for the finals with a 15-pound, 9-ounce limit that put them in eighth overall.

In the final round, they turned in their best showing of the tournament with a 20-pound, 2-ounce limit anchored by a 7-pound, 5-ounce behemoth. Throughout the event, they weighed all largemouths, despite Pickwick’s propensity to produce nice-size smallmouths and spotted bass.

“After hitting it hard on day one, we managed our spots days two and three, and then swung for the fences in the finals,” said Freeman.

Their winning pattern focused on main-lake ledges primarily in 14 to 23 feet of water. “All but one of the ledges were on the river channel,” Freeman noted. Top presentations included deep-diving crankbaits, ½- to 5/8-ounce hair jigs, drop-shotting 6-inch worms and tipping shaky-head jigs with 10½-inch worms.

TBF National Youth Director Mark Gintert was ecstatic at the turnout and the destination. “We’re absolutely thrilled with the results of the 2015 World Finals and our new partner, Florence Lauderdale Tourism,” he said. “The facilities and volunteerism in Florence was terrific and we most definitely look forward to coming back again in the future.”

Designed to give young anglers and their families an all-encompassing, fun-filled experience, the World Finals also included a pizza party, a live music concert and catfish banquet—courtesy of the Alabama Cooperative Extension office and the Catfish Growers Association of Alabama—plus a multi-species fishing tournament on day four for all teams who did not make it into the finals.

The SAF’s High School Fishing program is open to students in grades 9-12. Sponsors include Ranger Boats, Cabela’s, Berkley, Evinrude, Lew’s, Lowrance Electronics, FLW Fishing League Worldwide, Booyah Bait Company, Mud Hole Custom Tackle and Shimano. For more information, visit highschoolfishing.org, email info@highschoolfishing.org, or call: (580) 765-9031.

For full standings check out the results page here

Michigan High School State Championship

RESULTS

2015 High School Fishing World Finals, FINAL weigh in video

Final weigh in video of the 2015 High School Fishing World Finals.

Streaming video by Ustream

Semi Final DAY! Weigh in is LIVE at 2:45 today Consolation at 1:00pm

Today is Semi Final day and consolation round day! Consolation round weigh in begins at 1pm this after noon we will have those teams weights recorded when the semi-finalist come in. Then every one will have to wait it out!


Live broadcast by Ustream

All weights were zeroed for today and the top 10 teams from the semi-final group will advance to Saturday’s Final round as well as the next 10 heaviest weights from the two groups (Consolation and Semi’s) combined. Good luck to all our anglers. Tune in TODAY at 1:00pm and 2:45pm CST!

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