York County high school anglers will host a benefit Nov. 15 that includes an opportunity to compete with the pros.
Ellie Carnes helps organize a competitive fishing team of students from Clover, Fort Mill and Nation Ford high schools, along with York Preparatory Academy and Independence High School in Charlotte. She put together the event from 2 to 5 p.m. at Hunt, Fish, Paddle that will include a canned food and pet supply drive, too.
“This will be the first time,” Carnes said. “We’re trying to promote youth fishing in our area.”
Professional anglers Britt Myers, Shane Lineberger, Bryan New and Bryan Thrift are expected to attend. The event includes a casting competition between the pros and high school anglers. Hot dogs, drinks and snacks will be for sale.
The fishing team competes in at least one tournament a month at lakes throughout South Carolina. It costs about $400 per angler, per season in travel. Carnes sees an opportunity for continued support from adults who help make the team happen.
“Without the adults helping out, the students wouldn’t be able to do this,” she said. “They wouldn’t have boats. They wouldn’t be able to get to events.”
Bass fishing is a leisure activity for some, but not the high school team. Competitive fishing is a growing sport even at the youth level.
“There’s scholarships for kids now,” Carnes said.
Lake Wylie and the surrounding areas have a wide net of professional anglers, who Carnes wants to connect with her group. Anglers who can guide students, who may want to make a career of fishing themselves.
The team also will compete in the second annual Riley’s Cup, part of a Life of Leadership Experience conference at Camp Thunderbird Nov. 20-22.
For more, visit the Lake Wylie Jr Bassmasters page on Facebook.
John Marks: 803-831-8166