The plan from the start was very simple….get kids on the water to fish together. From there, people were put in place to put action to the vision. After many meetings and plans being developed, we started forming the first ever Alabama High School Fishing Club Series. With plan in hand, Tim Tidwell spread the word by creating a web site (www.alhsbf.ning.com), talking with local news papers and traveling to various schools to get the word out. It didn’t take long for his phone to start ringing off the hook. High school competitive bass fishing in Alabama with all of its great lakes made it obvious that this was going to be a big hit with the high school kids in our state.
With diligent planning, the founding committee formulated the rules, regulations, and schedule for this years Inaugural High School Fishing Series. There were three qualifying tournaments with a championship tournament to be held in May. Each school could field two teams of two anglers per boat with a coach/boat captain.
In each qualifier, a school could earn a third boat entry into the state championship by winning the team’s combined weight at each event. With so many kids wanting to fish, this would allow a team to earn a spot for two more anglers that did not get a chance to fish in the qualifier. The qualifying tournaments proved to be tough competition and each place was earned as these young anglers showed why this type of competitive fishing will be a huge success in Alabama.
Hartselle High took top honors at Wheeler Lake, Southside Gadsden did the same at Lake Neely Henry, and Victory Christian finished first at the last qualifier held at the Alabama River in Montgomery. Other schools represented were Hoover High, Thompson High, Wetumpka, Marengo Academy, Smith Station, and many more from around the state.
The first ever Alabama High School State Championship was held on Lake Logan Martin in Pell City, about 30 miles east of Birmingham and is know for its abundance of largemouth and spotted bass.
That was proven during the state championship when Jackson Parker and Spencer Parker took top honors by brining in a good bag of both largemouth and spotted bass weighing in at 16 lbs and 1 oz. They had one largemouth over 5lbs. The second place team also from Decatur Heritage made up of Taylor Warren and Matt Dubach also had a good bag weighing in at 12lbs. So congratulations to Decatur Heritage Christian Academy for becoming the 1st ever Alabama High School Fishing Champions. In all, this inaugural year has been a tremendous first step in taking competitive bass fishing to the students of Alabama High Schools. As more schools are anticipated to join next year it is assured that Alabama will become a leader in bringing this activity into the lives many students around the state.