FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE AND THE BASS FEDERATION EXTEND PARTNERSHIP
MINNEAPOLIS (Dec. 14, 2016) – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) and The Bass Federation (TBF) today announced a multi-year extension to their strategic partnership, bolstering the relationship between the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization and the nation’s oldest broad-based grassroots fishing, youth and conservation organization. Terms of the agreement were not released.
As part of the extended partnership FLW will undertake the largest expansion of the co-managed High School Fishing program since launching the state-championship series of High School Fishing events in partnership with TBF in 2011. The expansion includes facilitating a new series of 24 High School Fishing Open tournaments to complement the existing State Championships and High School Fishing World Finals coordinated by TBF. TBF will also debut two High School Fishing Challenge events to meet growing demand from the more than 15,000 young anglers that participated in the program in 2016. All told, students will now have 76 FLW and TBF High School Fishing events in which to compete in 2017.
"High School Fishing is the foundation on which our sport will continue to grow," said FLW President of Operations Kathy Fennel. "With the continued erosion of traditional pathways into fishing, the industry is taking note of High School Fishing’s recruitment, retention and reactivation potential. All it takes is one visit to a High School Fishing tournament to see that FLW and TBF have tapped into something special that unites generations in a way our sport has never seen before."
No changes will be made to the existing program for adult TBF anglers. Fourteen TBF anglers (seven boaters and seven co-anglers) will advance to the BFL All-American from the TBF National Championship. The TBF National Champion boater will also advance to the Forrest Wood Cup and continue to receive the life-changing "Living the Dream" package to fish the entire season as an FLW Tour pro using a TBF-wrapped Ranger boat and tow vehicle without paying a single entry fee. TBF members will also continue to receive priority entry into all FLW tournaments.
"TBF is proud to partner with FLW in providing the nation’s most extensive network of grass-roots fishing opportunities from our TBF junior program through high school and college to the TBF National Semi-Final Series for adult anglers and ultimately our ‘Living the Dream’ package on the FLW Tour," said TBF President Robert Cartlidge. "No two organizations work more closely to provide more fishing opportunities for more anglers nationwide than FLW and TBF. We are proud of that tradition and what it means for future generations."
Veteran Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament director Dave Maxfield has been tapped to lead the new series of High School Fishing Opens as FLW High School Fishing tournament director. Working closely alongside Maxfield will be Scott Ellison, who has been promoted to FLW Youth Director and Promotion’s Manager.
Going forward, High School Fishing will operate on a school calendar with the National Championship being held in the summer in conjunction with the High School Fishing World Finals. The top 10 percent of teams in each State Championship, Challenge and Open will advance directly to the High School Fishing National Championship. The High School Fishing national champions will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship to the school of their choice.
All participants must be Student Angler Federation (SAF) members to participate. SAF membership includes both TBF and FLW membership plus a digital subscription to FLW Bass Fishing magazine, online training courses and more.
SAF members never pay an entry fee to participate in FLW or TBF High School Fishing tournaments and all clubs are covered by SAF insurance, which means there is no added expense for schools with sanctioned High School Fishing clubs.
2017 High School Fishing Open & Challenge Schedule:
Jan. 15 Lake Okeechobee Challenge Lake Okeechobee
Feb. 19 Lake Hartwell Early Bird Challenge Lake Hartwell
March 4 South Carolina Open Lake Murray
March 11 Mississippi Open Columbus Pool
March 25 Arkansas Open Lake Hamilton
April 1 Texas Open Lake of the Pines
April 22 Alabama Open Logan Martin Lake
April 29 North Carolina Open High Rock Lake
May 6 Wisconsin Open & Iowa State Championship Mississippi River @ La Crosse
May 13 Missouri Open Truman Lake
May 14 California Open & State Championship California Delta
May 20 Virginia Open & State Championship Claytor Lake
June 3 Minnesota Open Mississippi River
June 10 Michigan Open & State Championship Detroit River
Sept. 9 Louisiana Open Ouachita River
Sept. 16 Maryland Open Potomac River
Sept. 23 Pennsylvania Open Raystown Lake
Sept. 30 Indiana Open Lake Monroe
Oct. 7 Illinois Open Lake Springfield
Oct.14 New York Open Oneida Lake
Oct. 21 Oklahoma Open Grand Lake
Oct. 28 Ohio Open Caesar Creek
Nov. 4 Kentucky Open Lake Cumberland
Nov. 18 Tennessee Open Norris Lake
Dec. 2 Georgia Open Lake Lanier
Dec. 9 Florida Open St. Johns River
2017 High School Fishing State Championship Schedule:
Jan. 29 Texas State Championship Sam Rayburn Reservoir
Feb. 11 Georgia State Championship West Point Lake
Feb. 26 Florida State Championship St. Johns River