​Young anglers qualify for national team competition

Two members of the Cincinnati Youth Bass Club are headed to the national Student Angler Fishing (SAF) team competition after finishing second in the conference tournament at Lake Carlyle in Illinois, according to club advisor Angela Poling.

Student Angler Fishing is sponsored by The Bass Federation to encourage conservation education and recreational fishing among young people.

Cole Wessner, 16, and Dan Heckler, 17, both students at Colerain High School in Cincinnati, also placed third in a SAF tournament at Alum Creek Reservoir near Columbus last spring.

The teens joined the Cincinnati Youth Bass Club two years ago, Poling said.

A good finish in the national tournament will mean college scholarships and other high-value prizes for the pair, she added.

Despite a rough and rainy early fishing season, club members enjoyed a productive spring and summer on the water.

In addition to his win in Illinois, Heckler was named the club's "Most Improved Angler" of the year.

Nicholas Ball won "Angler Of The Year" honors. Hunter Schneider was named the club's "Best Sportsman."

Poling added four new members to the club's regular roster and four new "tadpole" bank anglers.

Now in its fifth year, the club is open to boys and girls age 11 to 18. It encourages not only angling skills, but also conservation education and community service.

Tournaments operate on a professional model with members accruing points throughout the season. Extra points are available through participation in stream clean-ups and similar service projects.

The club's motto is "Fishing, Friendship And A Whole Lot Of Fun."


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