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December 26, 2007

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Discussion Topic: Should Bass Fishing Be A High School Sport?

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Forget what you know about the shotgun formation, the pick-and-roll and the hit-and-run. It's time to update your high school sports lingo. Start with these: jig-n-pig, crankbait, Carolina rig.

That's right, bass fishing. In high school. As an Illinois High School Association sponsored activity. . . .

Back in October, the IHSA board of directors decided to explore whether it would be possible to host bass fishing tournaments to reach students — boys and girls — who aren't involved with the more traditional sports programs. It would be the first of its kind in the country.

[Now,] a spring season is looking more and more likely. Best-case scenario has the prep anglers wetting their lines for the first tournament in spring 2009.

Check out the full story and tell us what you think.



This is terrible. Fishing should not be a competitive sport under any circumstances. It is blatantly contrary to a critically important principal so many of us preach but often forget to defend: respect for the animal. Competitive fishing is a disgrace, and we shouldn't condone it for the next generation of anglers.


Everything in a tournament is
supposed to be catch-and-release. It's not that I think that any particular fishery is damaged or even disturbed, by catch-and-release fishing. But catch-and-release for the sake of a tournament just sorta turns me off. I don't think fishing is about the pressures of winning or losing, fishing is about fun and relaxation!
It ain't that it ain't right, it's just all wrong!?


Blue Ox

It ain't right that it ain't right...it's just all wrong? Huh? Whazzat? Oil can?

I tried to bring up the idea of a fishing team to the athletics department when I was in high school. The directors looked at me like I had a third eye. They could not seem to grasp the concept of scoring points without there being a ball involved somehow. Also frowned upon was the fact that anyone who wanted could participate, not just the steroid-gobbling jocks who had the literacy level of toast.


Dont have much time now but I think it is a fantastic idea!!!!


I would love to do that when i get in high school

Trae B.

ive never practiced catch and release.I'm more of a "catch,gut,fry,mmmm" person.or they could ccatch and send the fish to home ec because every one needs to know how to cook fish.and before any misunderstandings im not talking about just girls needing to know how to cook fish. everybody.so they'll stop asking me to.

Ed Cuneo

While there is concern about competition and using fish as the target for all the wrong reasons, let's take a moment to think about what fishing and shooting as scholastically-sanctioned sports would bring to the attention of the general public. It would be an opportunity to show the majority who don't fish or hunt that it is more than just killing fish and animals or shooting guns. I agree that competition with some of the professional fishermen and women has gotten out of hand but what better way to bring kids into the fold by giving them an opportunity to do these sports where a ball is not involved. Here in New Jersey our scholastic athletic association sanctions surfing, why not surf fishing? Or archery or other firearm sports with a target?
The best way to go would be a Field and Stream club that is organized in some fashion so that coaches or leaders can stay in touch. When competition is involved, then adults in charge and some competitors have a tendency to lose sight of sportsmanship, the kind of sportsmanship that we like to see. Lessen this effect by not giving the end result an award or trophy.

misumall redneck

yeeee hawwww! aint nothin better than bringing good ol' country boy stuff to school! This would give a way to compete against rivals and do something we all enjoy. Lets try & get something like this going on around Alabama. I go to curry and were made fun of cause were rednecks and folks say we suck at football so lets show what we can do with a rod and reel! While were at it lets get a little whitetail hunting going on at the schools. Give us a chance to show them city folks around us what country folks do on the weekend!

Rich Lindgren

Definitely, it would be great. I wish they had a program like that when I was in school!


I hunt and fish alone because every time I try the activities with a group, somebody wants to put together a biggest/most pot/kitty/wager! They were always won by the same two or three guys that had already selected the best stand/hole sites on the lease/lake/river.
I kill my share of deer, and do "okay" in the fish department, but I'm no D. Boone or A.J. McClane! The pressure to excel or catch/kill the biggest/most/heaviest is a real turn-off to me! If angling were introduced into high school, let it be an activity that does NOT bear honors for anything other than participating!


Mc. Squizzy

That's awsome! I want sometin' like that at my school! I don't dislike the idea of competitive fishing as long as the learders (coachs) are allowing the kids to decide if they want to compete or not. This is a great way to introduce kids to fishing! I'm all for it!

Mc. Squizzy

I also think that there should be no prize except maybe a trophy for winning. If there was money in it, our beloved sport would be discraced . As we saw with a previous article.

Trae B.

Ive got one more opinion about this.the coaches should not be allowed to make the kids fish their way.because back in 6th grade I had a not very bright liar outdoor ed teacher who took us out to the little school pond to teach us how to fish.well ive fished all my life and right off I was chuckin my line all he way across the pond and landing it exactly where I wanted but the teacher got on to me for doing it wrong.then he demenstrated how to do it "right".he threw the line about ten feet and told me to do it just like him.that like telling a right handed person to write perfectly with their left hand.the teachers should help kids find their own style of fishing.even if it dosent look right sooner or later they'll find out to do just what they want.

Fishing for stuff other than fun kinda defeats the purpose of fishing, doesn't it?I'd love to be on the team becuase it would be so fun, but Oh, wait, if it were a high school sport, people would join for the fun? Somebody was commenting that fishing for points is not fishing for fun?

mike crandall

I would love to have this in my high school here in Florida.


I think this would be a much better idea if they removed the competition and turned it into a fishing 'club' rather than a 'team'. In this day in age with athletes using steroids I could see a funny scene of someone roid-raging out on a small boat because his lines got crossed. Eliminate the competitiveness and there would be no need for performance enhancing drugs to keep anglers in peak performance. I'm kidding on the last part.


Hmmm... WTF if you can get kids fishing then do whatever it takes. If they start of competitive, I am sure they wont be after they graduate. I will bet that they will keep fishing. However if they do go pro and win a million bucks then good for them.

I say whatever it takes to get kids outside trying new stuff is a good thing regardless.

central Illinois

i though fishin was for relaxing and getting away you catch some and lose some but you dont have to win to fish another day.


i hope that they start this in Iowa. The would be fricken sweet


I have a son in grade school that hates school. For him the thought of a school offering something he loves is a way we will get him there with less of a fight. I hope all schools offer this. It is something all kids need!!!

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