Commissioners acknowledged the accomplishments of the Brahman anglers, coaches, club director, captains and parents ...
OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee County Commission issued a proclamation in honor of the Okeechobee High School Bass Club on March 9.
At their regular meeting in the Historic Okeechobee County Courthouse, commissioners acknowledged the accomplishments of the Brahman anglers, coaches, club director, captains and parents by issuing a proclamation in recognition of OHS Bass Club for their teamwork and sportsmanship in continuing a successful fishing club through the Okeechobee County High School.
According to the staff report, the Okeechobee High School (OHS) Bass Club was established in 2016, and fosters leadership, teamwork, problem solving, and public speaking skills while competitively fishing across the state of Florida. The Club promotes environmental awareness, responsibility and conservation while teaching students about the sport of competitive bass fishing & ethical angling. These students are known on campus as the Brahman Anglers.
Students in grades 9th-12th enrolled at OHS and homeschool students that maintain a 2.0 GPA are eligible to become a Brahman Angler. Okeechobee High School administrators have even made exceptions to allow students attending high school outside of our district to join the club because their high school didn’t offer the program.
The tournament season runs along the school calendar with tournaments scheduled once per month beginning in September through April. The Brahman Anglers have the option to fish 8 (2-day) tournaments for a chance to qualify for the State Championship held in June each year. If they are successful at state they also have potential to move on to fish the high school national championship, usually held in August. The OHS Bass club has previously had State Championship winners and several national championship qualifiers.
The OHS Bass Club anglers compete across Florida and Georgia on freshwater lakes and river systems. Each year they fish Lake Okeechobee, Harris Chain of Lakes, St. John’s River, and even Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Georgia.
The Brahman Anglers compete in each tournament as a two-person team with an adult volunteer captain, to catch the best 5 bass of the day in hopes of having the highest weight. Each tournament an angler faces a fierce competition field of approximately 150 teams from Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. The top 10 teams are awarded scholarships based on their placement and points are given from each tournament to determine who will qualify for the state championship. If the Brahman anglers fish a minimum of 4 tournaments per year and attend club meetings, including community service projects then they are eligible to receive the High School letterman award.
Commissioners noted the sport of high school bass fishing is growing in popularity that extends over to the collegiate level. In fact, the National Scout Report (NSR) can be found at each tournament event and helps to support and place high school anglers with their desired college upon graduation. The OHS Bass Club has produced multiple college anglers that attended Indian River State College and University of North Alabama.
Since inception of the club, Brahman Anglers have been involved with multiple non-profit organizations within the community. The high school anglers have attended meetings and tournaments held by the Big O Teen Anglers community fishing club where they educate younger anglers about boating safety and basic fishing skills. They have volunteered at fundraising events for the Brahman Athletic Association which help to financially support all athletics at Okeechobee High School. The OHS Bass Club also proudly supports the David A. Daniel Foundation which was created to honor the memory of a former Brahman Angler, David Daniel. The Foundation holds multiple fundraising events and awards a graduating senior of the OHS Bass Club with a scholarship each year.
Those who’d like to keep up with the team can like & follow them on Facebook @OHS Fishing.
The next tournament will be at the next tournament event at C. Scott Driver Park on March 11-12, 2023, with weigh in beginning at 2:30 p.m. each day.
2022-2023 OHS Bass Club includes:
• Lane Davis (sophomore) and Korbyn Lewis (sophomore),
• Tanner Seabolt (junior) and Ragyn Mohney (freshman),
• Emmett Sumner (junior) and Clayton Oxford (sophomore),
• Beckham Nelson (freshman) and Cameron Bedsole (freshman),
• Hunter Daniels (junior),
• Taylor McQuade (sophomore),
• Billy Ellerbee, coach and captain,
• Cristen Coleman, club director,
The bass club thanked their sponsors for their support and invited everyone to watch their weigh-in.