BRAINERD, Minn. — Six Brainerd Warrior teams of two advanced from the state championship held in August to the Central Conference Championships held in Lawrenceburg, Ind., on Sept. 24. The tournament was held on the Ohio River just south of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Qualifiers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin were eligible to compete in this event. Twenty-one boats showed with six of them being from the Brainerd area and each team had one goal of five bass per team; minimum 12 inches to be weighed in.
Brainerd’s fishing coach, Jason Bahr, stated, “The kids had a tough bite on the Ohio.
Warm water (84 degrees) and the hot sun in the 90s definitely played into the mix with many of the entries not catching fish at all. But the experience of fishing new waters, trying new methods, and traveling outside our state were great experiences for our kids.”
Colin Steck and Nate Lorenze landed the tournament big fish, a 5 pound 4 ounce beauty, 10 minutes into Saturday morning’s Central Conference Regional on the Ohio River from the Waunakee High School. Catching that fish set the stage for what they both hoped could be a repeat win from last year’s championship at Lake Carlisle in Illinois.
Coming in second and also advancing to the National Championship was the home town team of Hunter Schneider and William Halbig from Lawrenceburg High School in Indiana. They had a 5 pound 8 ounce bag and the only limit of the day, which was just enough to lock down the runner-up spot.
The top 10 percent from each of the five Conference Regional events advance to the National Championship to be held in the spring.
“The boys have to be proud regardless of how they placed,” said Bahr. “Out of thousands of kids in the fishing teams throughout our central region, twelve of them advanced to the finals. This will be a memory they will carry forever.”
Team placements from Brainerd include: eighth place, Austin Neyens, Tyler Bahr, boat captain Jason Bahr; ninth place, Caleb Nagel, Ares Soukup, boat captain Mike Peterson; 10th place, Kyle Bahr, Troy Peterson, boat captain Jeremy Neyens; 13th place, Keegan Decker, Cody Czech, boat captain Bob Steinhoff; 14th place, Noah Peterson, Gaven Roberts, boat captain Chuck Fields; and 19th place, Tyler Czech, Noah Day, boat captain Ryan Czech.
The team invites the public to a fundraising chicken alfredo dinner Saturday, Oct. 22 from 5-8 p.m. at the Brainerd VFW to raise funds for next year’s program.
The Brainerd Warrior Fishing Team is a nonprofit organization serving children in ISD 181 in Brainerd. The team is open to all children in grades 6-12. There are 104 current members for the 2016 year. The team gives kids hands on experience fishing, while teaching and providing instructions on proper fish handling and boater safety. These anglers participate in fishing tournaments, fishing events and volunteer for local non-profit organizations. During these fishing tournaments the anglers have a chance to advance to a regional or national tournament where they can compete for college scholarships. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visitwww.brainerdwarriorfishing.com.
Sponsors of the Student Angler Federation are The Bass Federation and Fishing League Worldwide.