Howard County sees first high school bass…

Roger Eubank has fished his entire life and knows the benefits of getting kids involved in outdoor pursuits. For years he coached football and wrestling but know focuses on seeing youngsters with rod and reel. “I think all sanctioned sports are good and children benefit from what they learn,” he explained. “But fishing is a great teacher as well and it’s something they can do for a lifetime.” Eubank was instrumental in helping establish the first fishing club at Western High School and is helping other local schools do the same, a movement that is gathering speed across the state and nation. Some colleges have seen the benefit of establishing formal bass fishing clubs, like Indiana and Purdue Universities and the creation of the National Collegiate Bass Tournament Series. There are currently over 300 active college bass clubs and that number continues to grow. The establishment of high school clubs is considered a feeder system and in some cases the growth of high school fishing has been more explosive than the college game. This was evidenced locally just last week when our area saw the first Howard County High School bass tourney, held on our Kokomo Reservoir. Nearly two dozen students from eighth through 12th grade took part, representing Western, Eastern, Taylor and Kokomo High Schools. Participants competed from bass boats operated by an adult. After weigh-in it was Taylor students Conner Leicht and Bryce Fritsch winning first place with three largemouth bass totaling 6.40 pounds. Devon Bolton and Ryan Roark snagged second place with two fish dropping the electronic scales at 4.26 pounds. Third place and the tourney’s “biggest fish” honor went to Casey Williams and Trent Hall with a largemouth bass topping out at 3.78 pounds. Students taking part in our area's first high school bass fishing tournament gathered for a group photo.

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