OHS anglers win U.S. Army high school fishing tournament

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Tyler Scott (left) and Kyle Zainitzer (right)
Tyler Scott (left) and Kyle Zainitzer (right)
LEESBURG– Okeechobee High School’s Tyler Scott and Zack Zainitzer finished with the top spot at the U.S. Army High School Fishing Open on Feb. 13.


Tyler and Zack reeled in a final bag of five fish weighing 23.3 pounds on the Harris Chain of Lakes, four pounds more than their nearest competitor. The pair said they mainly relied on watermelon red speed worm to get fish biting throughout the day.


In second place with a final bag of 19.5 pounds were Isaac Jacober and Nathan Vandelicht from Southern Boone High School. Securing third place with a weight of 17.8 pounds were Claude Loftin and Tyson Verkaik representing Marion County Bass Masters.


Those three teams will advance to the 2021 U.S. Army High School Fishing National Championship presented by Favorite Fishing. The U.S. Army High School Fishing national champions will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship to the school of their choice.


In addition to the U.S. Army High School Fishing National Championship, all High School Fishing anglers nationwide automatically qualify for the world’s largest open high school bass tournament, the 2021 High School Fishing World Finals, held in conjunction with the National Championship. More than $2.8 million in scholarships and prizes were offered at the 2020 World Finals.


Scott and Zainitzer have had success on the Harris Chain of Lakes in the past.


In 2019 the duo secured a fourth place finish during a Florida B.A.S.S. Nation tournament held on the Harris Chain of Lakes with a bag weighing 15.28 pounds.


Later that year the pair moved on to compete at the national level after coming in second place in the Florida B.A.S.S. Nation High School Tournament on the St. Johns River.

Kyle Zainitzer (left) and Tyler Scott (right) with their first place trophies.
Kyle Zainitzer (left) and Tyler Scott (right) with their first place trophies.

U.S. Army High School Fishing is presented by Favorite Fishing and offers free, two-person team tournaments for students in grades 7-12. The events are open to any Major League Fishing and Student Angler Federation-affiliated high school club.

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