The Bass Federation (TBF), in partnership with FLW Outdoors, and Florence Lauderdale Tourism announced it will host the 2012 Student Angler Federation (SAF) Alabama High School Fishing State Championship. The event will be Saturday, May 26, on Pickwick Lake launching out of the McFarland Park Ramp near Florence, Ala.  A unique element of the event is it will follow the Association of Collegiate Anglers (ACA) BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship, held on Pickwick Lake Thursday and Friday.

The championship is a two person team event for students in grades 9-12. Registration for anglers and their “coach,” who will provide the boat they compete in, is online at HighSchoolFishing.org.  All teams must check-in Friday, May 25 following the ACA BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship weigh-in at approximately 4pm CST at the TBF trailer located at McFarland Park in Florence with a mandatory rules briefing to follow at 5pm CST. We highly encourage all teams to preregister online or by phone in advance to avoid late registration fees.

“Florence Lauderdale Tourism is excited to host the 2012 SAF Alabama High School Championship Tournament on Pickwick Lake,” Florence Lauderdale Tourism Sports Marketing Coordinator, Suzie Shoemaker, stated. “We realize these young people are the future of bass fishing, and are happy to introduce them to our beautiful lakes!”

Students and parents can go to HighSchoolFishing.org for details on the Student Angler Federation (SAF) and to sign up. Cost is only $25/ year and includes full TBF and FLW Outdoors benefits, including access to the all-new FLW Outdoors Magazine e-Edition and insurance coverage for students and their club. The winning two-person team from each state championship will advance to an FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing Conference Championship held in conjunction with a National Guard FLW College Fishing Conference Championship. Those winners will advance to the FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing National Championship held in conjunction with the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship in the spring of 2013. All SAF members and state championship participants qualify for the largest event in high school fishing, the 2012 High School Fishing World Finals to compete for thousands of dollars in college scholarships and prizes. Each team that qualifies for a conference and/or national championship will receive a travel allowance to help offset expenses. The National Champions will also each receive a $5,000 scholarship to use at the university of their choice.

If you’re not an SAF member, there’s a $25/per angler fee, which includes full TBF/FLW Outdoors membership benefits for the year, as well as, free entry to ALL SAF sanctioned events!

Another unique feature of an SAF sanctioned event is the “angler testing” component. Anglers can take a free online test at HighSchoolFishing.org about boater safety, conservation and angler ethics, which makes them eligible for contingency awards at their state championship. “It’s an industry first by TBF and a tremendous way to emphasize the importance of education to these student anglers,” SAF Program Manager, Alex Craw, commented. “The Federation is driven by our desire to promote education through fishing and the testing component is designed to do exactly that. We also offer all TBF/SAF members 11 free online training courses in our member’s only online store with Faculty of Fishing’s angler advantage program. Put this package together with all the programs our affiliated state federations like the Alabama Bass Federation have to offer, and our partnership with FLW Outdoors, and the sky is the limit,” Craw continued.  “These young anglers and their families have opportunities unlike anything the industry has ever seen.”

Event Details:

State Championship sign-up: PRE-REGISTER ONLINE at HighSchoolFishing.org.  Boat numbers are determined by date registered.  A $25 late registration fee applies to those registering at check-in. The best way is to pre-register online at highschoolfishing.org.

Mandatory Check-in: Friday, May 25, 4-5pm CST after the conclusion of the ACA BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship at the McFarland Park Ramp, 200 James Spain Drive, Florence, AL, 35630; Mandatory rules briefing to follow at 5pm.

Takeoff & Weigh-in: Saturday, May 26, at the McFarland Park Ramp on Pickwick Lake, 200 James Spain Drive, Florence, AL, 35630. Takeoff is at 5:30am CST and flights will start checking in at 1:30pm. Questions? alex@highschoolfishing.org or 580-765-9031

Host Hotel:  Jameson Inn of Florence, 115 Ana Drive, Florence, AL, 35630; King and double rooms will be discounted at $69.99 plus tax, May 22-26.  Call 256.764.5326 and request the SAF Alabama High School State Championship discounted rate. Feel free to check the facility out at www.jamesoninns.com. The Jameson Inn of Florence is less than four miles from McFarland Park and also offers convenient boat parking.

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