CLEVELAND, Minn. (KEYC) -High school fishing tournaments are underway for the summer as the sport continues to grow in popularity.
We caught up with some of our area anglers hitting the water this summer.
More than 50 boats of young anglers went out on the water in hopes of catching the largest fish in the lake during the Minnesota B.A.S.S. Junior Nation conference tournament.
For some of these teams it was their debut.
“It’s pretty cool, I’m really into fishing and I wanted to get this going so it helped me to get it going and my friends helped and we all made a team and now we’re winning tournaments,” Brogan Hanson, St. Peter sophomore angler, said.
“My husband and I have been talking about it for a couple of years and my family is very passionate about fishing and so they watch fishing every Saturday morning and we kept learning and hearing more about high school fishing teams and we thought well why can’t we do it. Not too long ago we saw that Lake Crystal had formed a team, I was able to reach out to the coach and the organizer there as well as in Lakeville and Prior Lake and the coaches just led us through the path and helped us get started,” Kelly Kennedy, St. Peter organizer, said.
“The story behind the creation of our high school team is my son wanted to go on to college and fish for the collegiate sport of fishing and he said I need to get on a team, Mom. At that time he was only a sophomore in high school and so it was difficult for him to get on a team with an adult so I said let’s check into some high school teams and I knew that that was an up and coming sport and we joined the B.A.S.S. nation and started a team and started competing and put the word out there around the greater Mankato area and the kids came out of the woodwork,” Breanna Ludeman, Lake Crystal Area coach.
“Alex, my son, loves to fish. There’s an opportunity for him to fish competitively under an organization like bass so we took the summer throughout the winter and spring got everything kind of organized, got 12 people signed up which was great for the first year and that was a great opportunity to get out in the water,” Charlie Freitag, St. Clair fishing coach, said.
Fishing isn’t anything new especially in Southern Minnesota, but one of the oldest pastimes is continuing to gain traction at the high school level.
“It’s pretty unique because you get to do a lot of cool stuff, there’s a lot of new opportunities and it helps when you’ve got some key people that are running it. It’s fun, it’s a fun process watching the sport grow and everything,” Mason Theissen, Lake Crystal Area angler, said.
“It’s definitely a different sport, it’s not like any of the other sports, just really fun to be out on the water, nature, hanging out with your friends, fishing and then you get to come out here and pre–fish, it’s always fun,” Roen Anderson, Lake Crystal Area, angler, said.
“It’s a lot of fun because it gives more purpose to fishing other than a day out with the dudes, every single fish means a lot more because it’s going towards a greater goal than just oh I caught a fish today. You get to go and you get to try to beat other anglers and takes a lot more strategy than you would think and it’s a lot less luck than people would think it is,” Sander Ludeman, Lake Crystal angler, said.
These young anglers will continue to perfect their craft and showcase their skills throughout the summer tournaments.