FLW and The Bass Federation have prepared a full season of High School Fishing tournaments for 2018, headlined by the 2018 High School Fishing National Championship and World Finals on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala. As well, the schedule includes 29 Student Angler Federation (SAF) High School Fishing State Championships, 24 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Opens, seven state high school athletic association sanctioned tournaments and three SAF High School Fishing Challenge tournaments.
“High School Fishing is the perfect recruitment, retention and reactivation program,” says FLW President of Operations Kathy Fennel. “Since its introduction in 2010 with the inaugural High School Fishing World Finals, we’ve seen how effective it is at getting new anglers and lapsed anglers on the water while retaining existing anglers who often serve as mentors for school teams. You need to look no further than the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation that shows an 8 percent increase in fishing participation since 2011 to see the program’s effectiveness. While several factors undoubtedly play into this growth, High School Fishing is certainly a leading contributor. We are creating a whole new generation of anglers and providing them with a connection to their schools and the outdoors.”
The more than 20,000 anglers that participated in the TBF/FLW High School Fishing program this year will have 72 tournaments in which to compete in 2018.
“As the sport’s leading youth organization, we are proud to have FLW as our partner in providing more fishing opportunities for more high school students across North America than anyone else,” says TBF President Robert Cartlidge. “Together TBF and FLW are laying the foundation on which our sport will continue to build, and we look forward to another incredible season working with schools from New York to California and into Canada to provide unprecedented opportunities for students and their families.”
Registration for the 2018 season opens Dec. 4, 2017, for the Lake Mitchell Open. Registration for all other events will begin Jan. 3, 2018. For SAF High School Fishing State Championships, each team must compete in the state in which their school is located. Teams from all states can compete in FLW High School Fishing Open tournaments and SAF High School Fishing Challenge events. Entries for State Championships and Challenge events should be made at HighSchoolFishing.org, or by calling TBF at 580.765.9031. Entries for Opens should be made at FLWFishing.com, or by calling FLW at 270.252.1000. There is no limit to the number of teams accepted into a tournament from each school or club.
All FLW and TBF High School Fishing tournaments are free to enter. The tournaments are two-person (team) events for students in grades 7-12 and open to any SAF-affiliated high school club. The top 10 percent of teams competing in each event held prior to June 10 will advance directly to the 2018 High School Fishing National Championship, which is held in conjunction with the 2018 High School Fishing World Finals, June 26-30 on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala. Qualifiers in tournaments held June 10 or later will advance to the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship. The High School Fishing National Championship awards the winning team a $10,000 scholarship ($5,000 per student).
All SAF High School Fishing members automatically qualify to compete in the 2018 High School Fishing World Finals. At the 2017 World Finals more than $170,000 in scholarships and prizes were offered to 332 teams from 33 states and Canada.
2018 High School Fishing World Finals/National Championship:
June 26-30 Pickwick Lake Florence, Ala.
2018 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Opens:
Jan. 13 Lake Mitchell Open Clanton, Ala.
March 3 Columbus Pool Open Columbus, Miss.
March 10 Douglas Lake Open Kodak, Tenn.
March 17 Truman Lake Open Warsaw, Mo.
April 7 High Rock Lake Open Lexington, N.C.
May 5 Mississippi River Open (Wis.) La Crosse, Wis.
May 12 Lake O’ the Pines Open Jefferson, Texas
May 13 Clear Lake Open/Calif. State Championship Lakeport, Calif.
May 20 Smith Mountain Lake Open Huddleston, Va.
June 3 Whitefish Chain Open Crosslake, Minn.
June 9 Raisin River Open Monroe, Mich.
Sept. 8 Rend Lake Open Whittington, Ill.
Sept. 15 Kentucky Lake Open Gilbertsville, Ky.
Sept. 22 Raystown Lake Open Hesston, Pa.
Sept. 29 Wheeler Lake Open Decatur, Ala.
Oct. 6 Lake Monroe Open Bloomington, Ind.
Oct. 13 Lake Murray Open Prosperity, S.C.
Oct. 20 Grand Lake Open Grove, Okla.
Oct. 27 Mosquito Creek Lake Open Cortland, Ohio
Nov. 3 Dale Hollow Lake Open Burkesville, Ky.
Nov. 10 Ouachita River Open West Monroe, La.
Nov. 17 Lake Hamilton Open Hot Springs, Ark.
Dec. 8 Lake Seminole Open Bainbridge, Ga.
Dec. 15 Lake Okeechobee Open Clewiston, Fla.
2018 SAF High School Fishing State Championships:
Feb. 10 Georgia State Championship – West Point Lake LaGrange, Ga.
Feb. 24 Florida State Championship – St. John’s River Putnam County, Fla.
March 10 Texas State Championship – Lake Palestine Flint, Texas
March 24 Louisiana State Championship – Cross Lake Shreveport, La.
March 31 Kentucky State Championship – Lake Cumberland Somerset, Ky.
March 31 Kansas State Championship – Wilson Lake Russell, Kan.
April 7 Mississippi State Championship – Tenn. Tom Waterway Columbus, Miss.
April 8 Illinois State Championship – Clinton Lake Weldon, Ill.
April 14 Virginia and North Carolina State Championships – Kerr Lake Henderson, N.C.
April 28 New Hampshire State Championship – Lake Winnipesaukee Gilford, N.H.
April 29 South Carolina State Championship – Lake Murray Prosperity, S.C.
April 29 Tennessee State Championship – Kentucky Lake Birdsong, Tenn.
May 5 Idaho State Championship – C.J. Strike Reservoir Mountain Home, Idaho
May 6 Arkansas State Championship – Lake Dardanelle Russellville, Ark.
May 12 Ohio State Championship – Alum Creek Reservoir Columbus, Ohio
May 13 California State Championship/Clear Lake Open Lakeport, Calif.
May 19 Alabama State Championship – Lake Neely Henry Gadsden, Ala.
May 20 Iowa State Championship – Mississippi River Davenport, Iowa
May 27 Oklahoma State Championship – Fort Gibson Lake Wagoner, Okla.
June 2 Tri-State Championship (Conn., Mass., R.I.) – E. Brimfield Lake Sturbridge, Mass.
June 2 Indiana State Championship – Brookville Lake Brookville, Ind.
June 17 Minnesota State Championship – Mille Lacs Lake Isle, Minn.
July 7 South Dakota State Championship – Lake Henry TBD
July 8 Quad State Championship (Pa., Del., Md., N.J.) – TBD TBD
July 21 Nebraska State Championship – Missouri River Niobrara, Neb.
July 28 Michigan State Championship – Gull Lake Kalamazoo, Mich.
Aug. 5 Wisconsin State Championship – Bay of Green Bay Oconto, Wis.
Sept. 16 New York State Championship – Great Sacandaga Lake TBD
2018 SAF High School Fishing Challenges:
Feb. 18 Lake Hartwell Early Bird Challenge Anderson, S.C.
June 24 New England Challenge – Lake Winnipesaukee Gilford, N.H.
Sept. 16 Minnesota Open Challenge (Walleye) – Lake Bemidji Bemidji, Minn.
2018 State Athletic Association Events:
March 17 GICAA Georgia State Championship – TBD TBD
May 20 IHSA Illinois State Championship – Carlyle Lake Carlyle, Ill.
April 21 KHSAA Kentucky Regional Championship – Lake Barkley Kuttawa, Ky.
April 21 KHSAA Kentucky Regional Championship – Lake Cumberland Somerset, Ky.
April 21 KHSAA Kentucky Regional Championship – Green River Lake Campbellsville, Ky.
April 21 KHSAA Kentucky Regional Championship – Cave Run Lake Morehead, Ky.
May 11-12 KHSAA Kentucky State Championship – Kentucky Lake Calvert City, Ky.