FMHS BASS TEAM
Frequently Asked Questions:
Who are we?
We are a group of serious H.S. bass anglers, and we compete interscholastically in the Texas H.S. Bass Association for prizes and some serious scholarship money.
What is the “fishing season”?
It is easier to tell you when fishing season is NOT…December and January are event free. Every other month has at least one tournament, beginning in September and concluding with the THSBA State Championship in May. You can find our entire schedule on the “schedule” page of this website.
What is the tournament format?
The format is almost identical to the “Bass Champs” and “Texas Team Trail” adult bass circuits. Two students and an adult boat captain in one boat compete for 8 hours and weigh-in the students five heaviest bass. The captain may not contribute any bass to the student’s total, but he may elect to compete in the “Captain’s side pot” in which case he may weigh-in his largest bass of the day. The winner of the side pot usually nets between $700 - $1200 at each tournament.
The THSBA puts on five “divisional” events each season. We happen to compete in the “Metroplex” division. At each of these tournaments, the 2-man teams accumulate “THSBA Angler of the Year” points for their order of finish. At the end of the regular season, the 2-man teams in each division that have accumulated the most A.O.Y. points advance to the THSBA Regional Championship. At the THSBA Regional Championship, the top 1/3 of the 2-man teams advance on to compete in the THSBA State Championship. Last season, about $80,000 in prizes and scholarships were awarded at the THSBA State Championship.
In addition, High Schools compete against one another for trophies and prizes at each tournament. Whether we have three boats entered, or 20 boats entered, at the end of the tournament, the weights of our three heaviest bags of fish are combined to give us a total weight for FMHS. Theoretically, the more boats we enter into a tournament, the greater our odds of winning the event.
Can a H.S. athlete compete on the bass team?
Yes. However, if he/she has to miss a tournament due to a commitment to the athletic team, it decreases the odds that their particular boat will accumulate enough A.O.Y points to make the post-season. Since THSBA AOY points are awarded to 2-man teams and not individuals, even when one student cannot make a tournament, the other student is strongly encouraged to compete solo and pick up all the points he/she can for the team.
What is the time commitment to be on the bass team?
The short answer is…a lot! This is not recreational fishing. If you have any expectation to do well, it requires a lot more than just showing up on tournament day and putting in your eight hours. The top anglers spend a great deal of time in preparation. They put together a folder on each lake on which they will compete. Many hours are spent accumulating information online to put into the folder before ever putting the boat in the water. After doing a lot of homework, they then spend time “pre-fishing” each lake, trying to hone in on suspected patterns and hot-spots. As you may know, bass will relocate based on season, temperature, barometric pressure, angling pressure, and many other factors. Catching a bass is not such a big deal. Finding bass to catch is the real key to success. About 10% of anglers catch about 90% of the fish!
How big are these “divisional tournaments”?
Typically, the tournament field will be no smaller than 125 boats and up to 250 boats.
Is it expensive to be on the bass team?
Yes. Very expensive. You must purchase a THSBA membership card. You must pay an entry fee of $50 per boat for each event. A serious angler will need at least five different rod/reel combinations. You will need tackle. You will need gas for the truck and the boat. You may have to rent a cabin or hotel room for some events. You will need a team jersey.
Because our team is a “club” and not a recognized sport at FMHS, we have no budget. However, we do fundraise each fall and are able to defray some expenses for our anglers that qualify for the post-season.
Do I have to own a boat to be on the bass team?
No, but if you don’t own a boat, you must have a teammate who does. All competition takes place on a boat. Boats must be a minimum of 16’ in length and propeller driven. They must have a working live well. The horsepower of the motor must not exceed the horsepower rating of the boat.
Tournament fishing experience tells me that it is rare for a boat to make it thru an entire school year without some kind of breakdown. The same goes for boat captains. Illness, work schedule, and unplanned emergencies can all derail the availability of a captain for a particular tournament. No boat, no captain…..no tournament. So, my best advice is that two students whose parents both own boats and are both willing to serve as captains make the very best partnerships.
Do I have to attend FMHS to be on the FMHS Bass Team?
No. If your school does not field a team in the THSBA, you may compete with us. FYI-Marcus H.S. has fielded a team the past several years. If you attend Marcus, please check with Mr. Skelton to see who is the team advisor this year.
How do I sign up?
Plan to attend the preseason informational meeting in August. Bring your parent(s) and a checkbook! The meeting time and location will be posted on the “news” page of the website the first week of August.