I've said it since COVID-19 reared it's ugly head.  There's not a better activity when it comes to social distancing than fishing.  Spring high school sports have all been wiped off the map except one.  High School fishing.

Rick Rider

The North Dakota High School Fishing Student Angler Federation held it's 3rd annual state tournament at Nelson Lake this past weekend.  The tournament was supposed to be on Saturday but was moved to Sunday because of inclement weather.  When the boys left the launch on Sunday, morning the temperature in my car read 23.  To add insult to injury, a stiff north wind developed shortly after start time, that must of had wind chills in the single digits.

Fog rolled off the lake as the boys took off very early Sunday morning.  And I mean early, my alarm was set for 3 am.  The anglers had to report by 6:15 to Nelson lake which is about 45 northwest of Bismarck Mandan.  White caps soon formed on the lake as strong north winds kicked up.  You can probably count the number of trees on the lake on one hand, so there's very little you can do to get out of the wind.  The teams were certainly limited to where they could fish due to the windy conditions.  To be honest the weather was colder than most duck hunting trips I had been on.

Rick Rider

Due to COVID-19 teams used the "Fish Donky" app that kept track of the 5 best bass in "inches" for each team to count fish towards the tournament.  Normally tournaments are determined by "weight".  When the dust settled at the 2:30 pm end time, Brandon & Logan Bullinger from Bismarck Century had the biggest bass in the tournament.  They finished with 98.25 inches of fish, including a Largemouth Bass that measured over 21 inches, which was the biggest fish of the tournament.  Bismarck High's Carsyn Sebastian & Hunter Acker who held the lead for a short time finished 3rd in the tournament with 88 inches of fish.

Heather Bullinger

According to Heather Bullinger from the NDHS Fishing Federation, the Bullinger boys will now travel to La Crosse, Wisconsin on June 23rd to June 27th and represent North Dakota in the National Championship and have a chance at a $10,000 dollar scholarship.

Rick Rider

So many sponsors &  volunteers made this tournament possible, including boat captains who volunteered their time, boat and gas.  A big thank you to Paul Reinbold of Gladstone, ND who captained my son Hunter and his buddy.  They haven't stopped talking about Paul's Phoenix boat and what a help he was to them.

Rick Rider

If you would like to get your child involved in North Dakota High School fishing, the federation will hold a qualifying tournament for next years state tournament tentatively for this August.  Get more information from their facebook page or website. 

 


 

 

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