For Bryan and Lorna Ellis, the experience of taking their son, Austin, to the NGJWC last August on Lake Lanier, GA sparked the desire to start a SAF High School Fishing Team in Marble Falls, Texas. Their dream became a reality on January 31, 2011 when they registered their club and 15 student members from 3 different schools in the surrounding community. The best gift came when Toby Tucker agreed to be the Club Advisor while living over 70 miles away!
The news traveled fast in this lake community with generous newspaper coverage and they quickly received sponsor support from the community and now have addtional advisors, boat captains and volunteers. Bill Flanary retired in the local community and contacted the club and offered his support as he spent many years as a competitive angler and wanted to share his knowledge with the kids. Marble Falls is located in the Highland Lakes of the Central Texas Hill County so there are many anglers in the area who will share some time on the lake or in the classroom to educate the students and improve their fishing skills.
Within 45 days, the MFHS Fishing Club held their Inaugural Bass Fishing tournament on Lake Marble Falls with 6 boats and 12 student anglers. 49.5 lbs of black and spotted bass were weighed in that afternoon and the hook was set! They are planning to partner with the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) or the Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) on a conservation project in the Fall and will be competing in the TBF Junior State Championship on Eagle Mountain Lake, the Texas SAF State Championship on Lake Lavon and will be at the World Finals of High School Fishing in Russellville in July!
The club meets monthly for classroom education and fellowship with the advisors and will squeeze in more local tournaments on the surrounding lakes to expose the students to different waters and conditions. On April 9th, they will compete in the Texas State High School Bass Championship on Lake Belton. This will be a great opportunity to meet other SAF clubs in the area and share in an open tournament.
“We are very grateful for the tremendous program that the TBF has created inthe SAF. Every high school in our country should take advantage of these resources as this is very organized and has energized our community about high school fishing and the many ways our students can take better care of our environment and natural resources.”