"Weighing In" on the Bass Fishing Team
Updated: Feb 16
Columbus High School introduced a bass fishing team to their winter sports lineup. Many people may not have heard of the newest addition to Columbus' array of sports, but it takes more skill and knowledge than many may believe.
Bass Fishing is recognized by Georgia High School Athletics (GHSA), and last year Columbus had 2 teams qualify for the state championship. Because bass fishing is recognized by the GHSA you can letter in it, and it can be both a club and a sport.
Members of the team vary in experience levels. There are some members that have been fishing since they were young, and some that have just started fishing.
"Everybody is really nice and supportive," says first-year member, Oskar Israel-Wertz, "I've learned a lot in my first year on the team."
The head coach, Mr. Swinehart, as well as the array of Boat Captains, help the students learn about the logistics of the competition.
CHS Assistant Principal, Mr.McGarr, is one of the boat captains for the bass fishing team. The boat captains help the two student anglers find the best fishing spot on the lake and help with the fishing basics.
Students compete in 4 qualifying competitions in hopes of reaching the state championship.
The 4 Regional competitions take place at Lake Seminole, Lake Oconee, West Point, and Lake Lanier.
At the Lake Seminole regional competition, there were 400 students participating in the competition, with a total of 200 boats. Students fished in shifts from 7:30 to 3:30 and the boats with the highest combined fish weight would advance to the state competition.
The State Championship Tournament takes place at Clarks Hill Lake in Evans, GA. To qualify for the tournament, students must finish in the top 10% of the teams at any of the 4 regional competitions.
The Bass Fishing team already has 2 students headed to the state competition, Josh Odom (11) and Andrew Fredrick (11).
The bass fishing team is headed to their next qualifying competition at Lake Oconee in Buckhead, GA on February 12th, and will hopefully return with more anglers qualified for the state championship.