High school and college fishing growing

Aaron Abbot shows off a pair of bass, including the 10-pound 4-ounce giant that allowed the 15-year-old to claim the top high school title for Mississippi.

Bass fishing is one of the fastest growing youth movements across the nation, where every level from junior high to college bass fishing has become a friendly but competitive activity.

Mississippi is no different, and currently has collegiate teams from Mississippi State University, Itawamba Community College and Mississippi College competing for prizes and bragging rights against teams from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Tennessee and beyond.

“Currently we have a roster of about 300 youth who are fishing across the state,” said Tony Stephens, Mississippi B.A.S.S. Nation State Youth Director. “Kids from across the state are competing with each other on the water, and forming friendships in social media where they discuss fishing and fish-related topics.”

Still relatively new in our state, Mississippi had 85 boats (with two-person teams) in the last state tournament. In contrast, Louisiana fielded 130 boats in their championship tourney while Alabama, which has had a program much longer, put 300 boats on the water.

“In bass fishing there are no criteria for height or weight, sex or race,” Stephens said. “It’s friendly competition but make no doubt about it, these kids are out to win. The tournaments we host are similar to the adult programs. Youth learn patience, perseverance, how to deal with winning and losing, and the importance of fair play. Of course they see first-hand the importance of fisheries conservation and respect for our natural resources. Currently we host four tournaments and one state tournament.”

To learn more about this youth B.A.S.S. program, visit MississippiBassNation.com and click on the youth icon.

About David Hawkins 195 Articles
David Hawkins is a freelance writer living in Forest. He can be reached at hawkins2209@att.net.

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