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Amid growing popularity, Bassmaster assembles high school All-American fishing team


The world’s largest fishing organization has announced the creation of the Bassmaster High School All-American Fishing Team. It will honor the most successful competitive bass anglers nationwide.

This new distinction for young anglers comes as Birmingham, Ala.-based B.A.S.S. is tracking a steep increase in the number of high school fishing teams, according to B.A.S.S. vice president of communications Dave Precht.

“The appetite for it is so huge. So many kids are getting involved with it -- boys and girls both. It’s really exploded in every state in the nation,” Precht said.

Louisiana Bass Nation youth director Eugene Hoover has been part of the Bassmaster-sanctioned organization since the 1980s. There are dozens of high school fishing teams in the Bayou State, according to Hoover. In recent years, he’s seen a three-fold increase of teams trolling Louisiana waters. The Gonzales, La., angler says it’s a stepping stone to entering a college with a competitive fishing team.

“The high school division is one of the fastest growing divisions of B.A.S.S. in the U.S. To give these kids another opportunity to showcase their talents -- and a lot of them have aspirations of being a professional fisherman -- I think this is a great opportunity for them,” Hoover said.

A panel of judges will name the All-American team May 1, according to Precht. The 12 anglers will compete in a one-day tournament to be held in conjunction with the BASSfest event on Lake Barkley in Tennessee. The deadline for a parent, coach or school official to nominate a student is April 15.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.