HAMBURG Forget about video games and smart phones, now young anglers who will be in grades 9-12 this year can participate in an actual bass tournament.
This year, The Bass Federation, in partnership with FLW Outdoors, the Pennsylvania Bass Federation, Cabela's and Berk's Bassmasters, will hold the 2012 Student Angler Federation Pennsylvania and New Jersey High School Fishing State Championship, Saturday, Aug. 4, out of the Dry Brooks Ramp at Blue Marsh Lake in Bernville.
This championship is a two-person team event, and registration for anglers and their "coach," who will provide the boat they compete in, is online at HighSchoolFishing.org.
Check-in is Friday, Aug. 3, beginning at 5:30 p.m., at Cabela's in Hamburg with a mandatory rules briefing to follow immediately after check-in.
Participation in the tournament requires a Student Angler Federation memberships, which includes full TBF and FLW Outdoors benefits comprised of the FLW Outdoors Magazine e-Edition and insurance coverage for students and their club.
Winners of the state competition advance to an FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing Conference Championship held in conjunction with a National Guard FLW College Fishing Conference Championship with a berth in the FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing National Championship in the spring of 2013 at stake.
Each team that qualifies for a conference and/or national championship will receive a travel allowance to help offset expenses. National Champions will receive a $5,000 scholarship to use at the college of their choice.
Another unique feature of an SAF sanctioned event is the "angler testing" component. Anglers can take a free online test at HighSchoolFishing.org about boater safety, conservation and angler ethics, which makes them eligible for contingency awards at their state championship.
"It's an industry first by TBF and a tremendous way to emphasize the importance of education to these student anglers," youth director Mark Gintert said. "The Federation is driven by our desire to promote education through fishing and the testing component is designed to do exactly that.
"We also offer all TBF/SAF members 11 free online training courses in our member's only online store with Faculty of Fishing's angler advantage program. This package, together with all the programs our affiliated state federations like Pensylvannia and New Jersey have to offer and our partnership with FLW Outdoors, provide young anglers and their families have opportunities unlike anything the industry has ever seen."
FLW Outdoors is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011.
FLW Outdoors has taken fishing mainstream with the world's richest fantasy sports game, FLW Fantasy Fishing presented by Straight Talk, where competitors can play for free, as well as, sign up for Player's Advantage to gain an edge.
The Bass Federation is dedicated to the sport of fishing and is the largest and oldest organized grassroots fishing organization. TBF-affiliated state federations and member clubs conduct more than 20,000 fishing, youth and conservation events at the local level each year, providing a foundation for the entire bass fishing industry for more than 40 years.
For information about FLW Outdoors and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit the websites at FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com; for information about The Bass Federation, visit the website at bassfederation.com.