Photo: St. Croix Rod
Fallon Clepper, the 2022 High School Fishing national champion from Montgomery, Texas, prepares to lip a fish.
Bass fishing clubs have made a big splash on the high school scene in recent years, helping bridge the gap between academics, competitive sports and the great outdoors for teens across the country.
Offering opportunities for boys and girls of all backgrounds to be part of a fun and exciting activity in a non-contact format, these clubs provide a chance to make new friends, enjoy competition and sharpen skills like hand-eye coordination and progressive thinking as they learn about bass fishing with a touch of ecology, science and even math mixed into the equation.
While the number of high school bass fishing clubs is growing at a rapid pace, theres plenty of room for more, which is why the non-profit Future Angler Foundation (FAF), in conjunction with Into The Outdoors Education Network, offers a free series of four classroom videos with lesson activities covering all aspects of high school bass fishing, including a youth-to-youth introduction designed to help students form a club and get it up and running in their own schools. These peer-driven lessons are correlated to national education standards for use in schools across the country.
At FAF, we strive to introduce the public to the joys and thrills of fishing and boating through our extensive educational, promotional and grassroots efforts, said FAF president Patrick Neu. We are laser-focused on our mission to help recruit, retain, and reactivate recreational anglers and boaters. What better way to spark excitement in our sport than to reach out to the next generation of potential anglers and make it easier for them to get started through a program in which they can really feel invested?
To that end, FAFs Forming a High School Bass Club 30-minute television show introduces viewers to a high school angler who started a bass fishing club in his school and went on to become state champion. Follow along as the expert and his two high school co-hosts spend a day on the water uncovering bass fishing secrets while offering tips on putting together a proposal for starting your own high school bass club, approaching school administrators and even getting your program approved by the school board.
Youll also learn how to find other students who would like to join the team, sponsors that might help defray club costs and how to build excitement for your program as it begins to grow and take on a life of its own. Besides the television show, the four classroom videos with high school bass fishing curriculum approved for use in any school system make the series a valuable tool for anyone looking to start a high school bass fishing club or team.
Though the majority of the Future Angler Foundations programs dont specifically target high school-age anglers, they do plant a seed at the middle school level that we believe grows and helps to support interest in high school angling, said Neu. Our goal with all our programs is to create new anglers and boaters, and as such we certainly see the value in high school angling programs that further educate and engage young anglers in a manner that will fuel a lifelong passion for being on the water with a fishing rod in hand.
The four Forming a High School Bass Club classroom videos and the full half-hour television show are among the many 30-minute made-for-television shows and classroom videos in the FAF library that can help high school anglers learn about fishing and the resource, concludes Neu.
I encourage anyone interested in becoming a better angler, or who knows someone of any age who is interested in fishing, to check out our entire online series at Into the Outdoors, or on television in the educational blocks offered on PBS nationwide and other over the air networks.
To watch the youth-to-youth video, click here.