Recognized as one of the fastest growing participation sports for young people in the United States, fishing is no stranger to high school sports. Area high school fishing teams at Hart County and Franklin County are winding down their season and looking toward championship tournaments in May.
Matt Beasley, who leads the Hart County Anglers, calls this sport “one of the fastest growing sports in this country, and one where boys and girls can compete on an even playing field.” He went on to add that competitive fishing has grown on the college level, “with many area schools offering schlorship and financial assistance to high school students.”
As part of the Palmetto Boat Center Series, Hart County’s anglers have participated in tournaments held on many of our areas lakes. “We’ve been able to involve more kids in tournaments, and our better fishers have gone above the scheduled matches, and have qualified for tournaments because of their success,” according to Beasley.
On April 27, Hart County will participate in the final qualifier in the PBC Series on
Lake Hartwell. “Going into the weekend, we feel pretty good about where our young people stand. The top teams after this weekend will participate in the Championships on May 10th and May 11th,” Beasley went on to add that, in addition to the ability to succeed regardless of size or strength, “the openess of participants to their fans to communicate and share stories makes this a favorite to many young people”.
On the future growth of fishing on the high school level, Beasley stated that “ fishing is a sport that many high schools can offer without having an effect on Title IX legislation, it something that boys and girls can compete on a level playing field.” He went on to add that the Georgia High School Athletic Association is currently looking at the idea of making competitive fishing an official GHSA sport in the future.