Smackover Fishing Team
Starting as early as fourth grade, Smackover-Norphlet students may begin competing in Arkansas BASS Youth Nation fishing tournaments. Smackover has been competing for many years now and has had one of the top performing teams in the state each year. Although the numbers have declined over the past four years, Smackover has still found a way to the top.
For students to fish in tournaments they must have access to a boat with a steering console and livewell. There must also be an adult in the boat to run the outboard motor, which is called the boat captain. Students are then in charge of every other aspect of the tournament. The adult in the boat is not allowed to help students fish or handle rod and reels.
Fishing is one of the largest industries in the world. High school fishing has opened doors for many professional anglers that fish for a living today. Unlike most other sports, fishing offers an opportunity for students to compete even though they may not be considered great athletes in physical sports.
One student that competed in BASS Nation fishing has cerebral palsy and had to quit playing baseball. Fishing gave this student the opportunity to compete again. Not only did he compete, he went on to win two Angler of the Year titles and qualified to fish in the high school national championship at Lake Hartwell in South Carolina both years he fished.
These anglers are very committed to the sport of fishing. They fish in the rain and in the heat. It has been a pleasure to help and watch these anglers here at Smackover as they compete against not only the best in Arkansas but also the best in the country..