SC DNR casts to hook Fishing as high school sport - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

SC DNR casts to hook Fishing as high school sport

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ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) -

Wayne Newton of Rock Hill has been fishing his whole life.  He's taught his son and now his grandson how to catch the big ones.

"It's a great sport it's outdoors you can't beat it," said Newton.

He says he would've loved to have had the opportunity to be on a fishing team back in High school.

"I would've jumped right in there and been glad to do that," said Newton.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the South Carolina Bass Federation have teamed up to bring Youth Fishing Clubs to high schools.

Currently there are 17 high schools in South Carolina that have bass fishing teams.

Northwestern High School Athletic Director Lauren West says a fishing team was a part of the discussion at recent meeting among AD's and Principals in the district.

"I think it's something that got a warm reception," said West.

She says starting any kind of athletic program has a lot of logistical hurdles. 

The best resource to get a fishing team up and running is already a few miles away from the school at Lake Wylie.

"But you've got to get the kids out there, you have to get somebody to sponsor it that knows something about fishing, and again how do you go about the equipment, the boats," said West.

One idea, is fishing poles and lures could be kids' personal gear much like, golf clubs on a golf team. 

Another hurdle is finding enough boats to use for everyone on the team.

Newton says from his experience starting a fishing team wouldn't be too expensive and help could be out there.

"I'm sure some of the bass fishing clubs would love to do that  and get some kids involved in it so I think it would be a great thing," said Newton.

SC DNR says all they need is 16 more teams to sign on so they could start a state championship and the South Carolina High School League can make bass fishing a high school sport in all areas of public school.

SC DNR says all you need a minimum of 6 people 11-18 year of age to qualify to have a Bass Federation Youth Team. 

Membership dues are $40 a year for each student. 

To find out more click here: http://www.dnr.sc.gov/aquaticed/youthbass/

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