Arkansas Activities Association considers sanctioning high school bass fishing

AAA sanction might not benefit high school fishing

High school bass anglers will be on a tight line if the Arkansas Activities Association were to sanction high school fishing.

On June 19, Brody Jacks, president of the Bauxite High School bass fishing team, asked the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to support efforts to persuade the AAA to recognize bass fishing as an officially sanctioned school activity.

Jacks said the association’s sanctioning would boost growth in high school fishing, and would therefore boost interest in fishing among students at large. More students fishing would, by extension, encourage parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to fish, as well, Jacks said.

In February, the AAA recently sanctioned video gaming, Jacks said, which encourages kids to stay indoors. Sanctioning fishing would encourage kids to get outdoors, he said.

Pat Fitts, director of the Game and Fish Commission, and Ben Batten, chief of the AGFC’s fisheries division, recently met with Lance Taylor and Steve Roberts, director and associate director, respectively, of the Arkansas Activities Association. Roberts is an avid angler, but he said high school anglers and their parents might not like the limitations that AAA sanctioning would impose on traditional practices and customs that anglers take for granted.

For starters, high schools would not be allowed to wear jerseys or other attire showing sponsor logos, Batten said. Anglers would also not be allowed to compete for or accept cash prizes or merchandise.

The AAA would probably also institute eligibility requirements for fishing team members, Batten said. Currently, anybody can participate in a high school fishing program….Full Story