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October 4, 2010

DNR promotes Youth Bass Fishing League

Crisp autumn air and the smell of burning leaves give rise to thoughts of high school sports and now there is a new club being promoted by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and The Bass Federation. Dixie High School in Due West is home to the Hornet Anglers, one of the first members of the new Youth Bass Fishing League. Twenty-five students from Dixie, Cherokee Trail Elementary, Wright Middle and Diamond Hill Elementary will be fishing for a chance to win scholarships and valuable prizes.

Dixie High School graduate and renowned professional fisherman Casey Ashley is serving as mentor for the club with sponsorship along with many local businesses. The club’s first tournament was held Sept. 18 on Lake Thurmond with another scheduled for Oct. 30 on Lake Russell. The club, formed atDixie High School Hornet Anglers the beginning of the school year, is hoping to compete in five tournaments this year. "We're hoping other schools will join us," said Terri Stone, assistant to the club coaches Eddy Stone and Chris Bensel, "We hope the club will eventually become a team, like football or baseball."

But it's more than just the thrill of reeling in the big one, fishing club members also learn information about fisheries management, artificial lures, attractants and more. If the Youth Bass Fishing League can recruit 16 or more high schools to get involved and express a desire for a state championship, then the South Carolina High School League can sanction bass fishing as a high school sport.

Interested in forming a bass fishing club at your school and becoming a part of the Youth Bass Fishing League? All you need to do is get a minimum of 6 students (within the 11-18 year old range) with dues paid and you can have a Youth Bass Fishing League Club! You'll also need an adult at your school to help lead the Youth Bass Federation club, provide advice and help arrange at least two club tournaments, fundraisers, speakers and other learning sessions pertaining to fishing for club meetings.

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