FLW to Debut 24-event High School Fishing Open Series

 Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) and The Bass Federation (TBF) today announced a multi-year extension to their strategic partnership, bolstering the relationship between the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization and the nation’s oldest broad-based grassroots fishing, youth and conservation organization. Terms of the agreement were not released.

As part of the extended partnership FLW will undertake the largest expansion of the co-managed High School Fishing program since launching the state-championship series of High School Fishing events in partnership with TBF in 2011. The expansion includes facilitating a new series of 24 High School Fishing Open tournaments to complement the existing State Championships and High School Fishing World Finals coordinated by TBF. TBF will also debut two High School Fishing Challenge events to meet growing demand from the more than 15,000 young anglers that participated in the program in 2016. All told, students will now have 76 FLW and TBF High School Fishing events in which to compete in 2017.

“High School Fishing is the foundation on which our sport will continue to grow,” said FLW President of Operations Kathy Fennel. “With the continued erosion of traditional pathways into fishing, the industry is taking note of High School Fishing’s recruitment, retention and reactivation potential. All it takes is one visit to a High School Fishing tournament to see that FLW and TBF have tapped into something special that unites generations in a way our sport has never seen before.”

No changes will be made to the existing program for adult TBF anglers. Fourteen TBF anglers (seven boaters and seven co-anglers) will advance to the BFL All-American from the TBF National Championship. The TBF National Champion boater will also advance to the Forrest Wood Cup and continue to receive the life-changing “Living the Dream” package to fish the entire season as an FLW Tour pro using a TBF-wrapped Ranger boat and tow vehicle without paying a single entry fee. TBF members will also continue to receive priority entry into all FLW tournaments.

“TBF is proud to partner with FLW in providing the nation’s most extensive network of grass-roots fishing opportunities from our TBF junior program through high school and college to the TBF National Semi-Final Series for adult anglers and ultimately our ‘Living the Dream’ package on the FLW Tour,” said TBF President Robert Cartlidge. “No two organizations work more closely to provide more fishing opportunities for more anglers nationwide than FLW and TBF. We are proud of that tradition and what it means for future generations.”

TBF logo barVeteran Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament director Dave Maxfield has been tapped to lead the new series of High School Fishing Opens as FLW High School Fishing tournament director. Working closely alongside Maxfield will be Scott Ellison, who has been promoted to FLW Youth Director and Promotion’s Manager.

Going forward, High School Fishing will operate on a school calendar with the National Championship being held in the summer in conjunction with the High School Fishing World Finals. The top 10 percent of teams in each State Championship, Challenge and Open will advance directly to the High School Fishing National Championship. The High School Fishing national champions will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship to the school of their choice.

All participants must be Student Angler Federation (SAF) members to participate. SAF membership includes both TBF and FLW membership plus a digital subscription to FLW Bass Fishing magazine, online training courses and more.

SAF members never pay an entry fee to participate in FLW or TBF High School Fishing tournaments and all clubs are covered by SAF insurance, which means there is no added expense for schools with sanctioned High School Fishing clubs.

2017 High School Fishing Open & Challenge Schedule:

Jan. 15                           Lake Okeechobee Challenge                                                   Lake Okeechobee

Feb. 19                          Lake Hartwell Early Bird Challenge                                        Lake Hartwell

March 4                         South Carolina Open                                                                  Lake Murray

March 11                       Mississippi Open                                                                         Columbus Pool

March 25                       Arkansas Open                                                                            Lake Hamilton

April 1                            Texas Open                                                                                  Lake of the Pines

April 22                          Alabama Open                                                                            Logan Martin Lake

April 29                          North Carolina Open                                                                  High Rock Lake

May 6                             Wisconsin Open & Iowa State Championship                       Mississippi River @ La Crosse

May 13                           Missouri Open                                                                              Truman Lake

May 14                           California Open & State Championship                                 California Delta

May 20                           Virginia Open & State Championship                                     Claytor Lake

June 3                            Minnesota Open                                                                          Mississippi River

June 10                         Michigan Open & State Championship                                  Detroit River

Sept. 9                           Louisiana Open                                                                           Ouachita River

Sept. 16                         Maryland Open                                                                            Potomac River

Sept. 23                         Pennsylvania Open                                                                    Raystown Lake

Sept. 30                         Indiana Open                                                                               Lake Monroe

Oct. 7                              Illinois Open                                                                                 Lake Springfield

Oct.14                            New York Open                                                                            Oneida Lake

Oct. 21                           Oklahoma Open                                                                          Grand Lake

Oct. 28                           Ohio Open                                                                                    Caesar Creek

Nov. 4                            Kentucky Open                                                                            Lake Cumberland

Nov. 18                          Tennessee Open                                                                         Norris Lake

Dec. 2                            Georgia Open                                                                              Lake Lanier

Dec. 9                            Florida Open                                                                                St. Johns River


2017 High School Fishing State Championship Schedule:

Jan. 29                           Texas State Championship                                                       Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Feb. 11                          Georgia State Championship                                                   West Point Lake

Feb. 26                          Florida State Championship                                                     St. Johns River

March 25                       Louisiana State Championship                                                Cross Lake

April 1                            Kentucky State Championship                                                 Lake Cumberland

April 1                            Mississippi State Championship                                              Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway

April 2                            Illinois State Championship                                                      Clinton Lake

April 9                            North Carolina State Championship                                       Kerr Lake

April 9                            Missouri State Championship                                                  Table Rock Lake

April 29                          South Carolina State Championship                                      Lake Murray

May 6                             Ohio State Championship                                                         Alum Creek Reservoir

May 7                             Arkansas State Championship                                                 Lake Dardanelle

May 7                             Idaho State Championship                                                       C.J. Strike Reservoir

May 7                             Tennessee State Championship                                             Norris Lake

May 20                           Arizona State Championship                                                    Lake Pleasant

May 21                           Alabama State Championship                                                 Lake Neely Henry

June 3                            Indiana State Championship                                                    Brookville Lake

June 3                            Massachusetts, Rhode Island & Connecticut

                                        Tri State Championship                                                             Mashapaug Pond

June 11                         Colorado & New Mexico Dual State Championship            Lake Pueblo

July 8                             Wisconsin State Championship                                               Lake Winnebago

July 9                             Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland & New Jersey

                                        Quad State Championship                                                        Chesapeake Bay

July 15                           New York State Championship                                                Mohawk River

July 15                           South Dakota State Championship                                         Lake Cochran

July 16                           Minnesota State Championship                                               Mille Lacs Lake

July 16                           Ontario Province Championship                                              Georgian Bay

July 22                           Nebraska State Championship                                                Lake Merritt

Aug. 13                          Washington State Championship                                            Potholes Reservoir


High School Fishing World Finals and National Championships:

June 3, 2017                National Championship                                                             Wheeler Lake
(2016 qualifiers)

June 27-July 1, 2017  2017 World Finals/National Championship                           Pickwick Lake
(qualifiers from events held Jan. 1 – June 10, 2017)

June 26-30, 2018        2018 World Finals/National Championship                           TBA
(qualifiers from events held June 11, 2017 to June 9, 2018)

Complete rules can be found online at and

For State Championships, each team must compete in the state in which their school is located. Teams from all states can participate in Open tournaments and Challenge events. Entries for State Championships and Challenge events should be made at or by calling TBF at (580)-765-9031. Entries for Opens should be made at or by calling FLW at (270)-252-1000. Entries for all events will be accepted beginning January 3. There is no limit to the number of teams accepted into a tournament from each school or club.

Full schedules, including additional state championships, and latest announcements will be available on and

About The Bass Federation

The Bass Federation Inc., (TBF) is a member of the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. TBF is owned by those we serve and dedicated to the sport of fishing. The Federation is the largest and oldest, organized grassroots fishing, youth and conservation organization there is. TBF, our affiliated state federations and their member clubs conduct more than 20,000 events each year and have provided a foundation for the entire bass fishing industry for more than 45 years. TBF founded the Student Angler Federation and the National High School Fishing program in 2008 to promote clean family fun and education through fishing. Visit or and “LIKE US” on Facebook.

Comments are closed.