Casting out: Wiregrass competes in bass fishing tournament


The Wiregrass fishing club recently attended their first tournament of the season, a state bass fishing tournament in Kissimmee, Florida. Club president, Braeden Erdman and club member Bryce Chumbley represented Wiregrass Ranch in the tournament and placed 52nd out of 177 teams.

At the tournament, boats lined up in the morning and waited for their number to be called to go out and begin fishing. Later that day, boats returned and the top 5 fish weights from each boat were used to determine the winners. All fish are released afterwards. Junior and Senior fishermen have the opportunity to earn scholarships for college and prize money if they can place.

“The tournament was fun. I caught 4 fish that day and I even got to meet Bobby Lane, a pro fisherman,” Chumbley recounts from the event.

The club’s next tournament is in February in Winter Haven and Erdman believes that his team can improve from their last tournament.

“I expect us to do a lot better; I am hopeful that we can place in a higher rank and qualify for the state final in April,” Erdman said.

Three years ago, Mr. Adams and a few students who were passionate about fishing started the club so that they could participate in these tournaments. Students can still join this club and represent Wiregrass at future tournaments.

Braeden Erdman (President) and Bryce Chumbley catching bass

“The purpose of the club is to promote the love of fishing. Additionally, the club hopes to help students become better anglers and responsible conservationists,” Adams added.

As the club president, Erdman enjoys helping new members learn how to fish.

“I like to go out there and see people fish who used to not know how,” Erdman explains.

Aside from tournaments, the club also fishes recreationally once a month as a group.

“We go out on kayaks to different lakes and fish for a few hours. We’ll talk about different baits we used that worked well and how we did after,” Chumbley explained.