Student Fishing League a growing sport

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fishing rod
(Farm and Dairy file photo)

Every child in school gets a big dose of the three R’s but what about the important stuff — like reading underwater structure, the art of precision casting and winning bass tournaments.

Now add that up and subtract the four months of cruddy Ohio weather, and we have some subjects that several Ohio high schoolers would walk a mile to attend; uphill both ways and in the rain I suspect.

Malvern students

Malvern, Ohio, students Hunter Edwards and Daniel Untch.
Malvern, Ohio, students Hunter Edwards and Daniel Untch.

Take Malvern, Ohio, students Hunter Edwards and Daniel Untch, for instance. Surely these two young men and avid anglers are good and responsible students, but wait, there’s more. These two young sportsmen have done of lot of learning outside of their school, especially when class is held on a lake full of lily pads and hungry fish.

And so have a significant number of like-minded teenagers, all who belong to the multi-state Student Fishing League, an organization that is right down their alley.

It’s a certainty that homework is welcomed. The more the better.

Fishing league

Indeed, the Student Fishing League is just that, an organized league of high school anglers who find bass fishing an enjoyable endeavor, but even more fun and challenging when it offers the opportunity to compete with other league teams, much like minor leagues in many sports.

The Student Fishing League is in its sixth year and growing. Last year, 35 young anglers from 14 different schools and four states competed for several awards and prizes.

This year, league organizers project 50 students from 20 schools. While participants aren’t covered in clothing featuring sponsor names, they proudly wear shirts and colors representing their school.

This summer, Hunter and Daniel will join fellow Malvern anglers to compete in three scheduled league tournaments, the first May 10 at Portage Lakes, the second June 7 at Mosquito Lake and the final contest June 21 on Evans Lake.

And no, these avid anglers don’t own their own bass rigs, so they team up with an adult boater/coach who furnishes and drives a reliable craft along with years of experience to share.

Hunter and Daniel agree there is room for more participants and suggest that interested anglers and boater/coaches search “Student Fishing League Ohio” online for contact information.

More nibbles

New multi-year Ohio fishing licenses are now available and represent a slight savings in cost. Know that state biologists are in the process of stocking lake trout and sturgeon in Ohio waters of Lake Erie in an effort to return these once plentiful native species to the lake.

Lake trout are already showing up in landing nets. Some stocked sturgeon are wearing tags which emit a signal that can be constantly tracked. Lakes Milton and Berlin are considered to be top producers of smallmouth bass.

Ohio biologists say with some certainty that Lake Erie walleyes that migrate east to the open waters of the Central Basin in the summer months do so in search of cooler water and shad, their favored food source.

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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.

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