Along with helping young anglers learn more about fishing tackle and success on the water, the Shimano Varsity program for high school and college anglers is now ready to help them achieve success in higher education. Announced at its special reception for high school and college bass anglers following Saturday’s weigh-in at the Bassmaster Classic in Houston, for their studies beginning in fall 2017 Shimano will award five $3,000 scholarships to select high school seniors planning to major in biology, fisheries, wildlife or natural resource fields.

            “Our scholarship program is one of the keystones to our entire Shimano Varsity program,” said Shimano Youth Fishing Director Frank Hyla. “With Shimano staff at all levels, we want to form a mentor relationship, and help these anglers pursue a college degree leading to a career creating better fisheries policy and management practices.”

Shimano Varsity
Frank Hyla, youth fishing coordinator for Shimano, explains the details on Shimano’s college scholarship program during a special reception at Houston’s famous Jackson Street BBQ. The event drew more than 200 high school and college anglers to hear about Shimano’s new ‘Varsity’ fishing program.

Over the past 20 years, there has been a critical decline in professional natural resource managers who fish and hunt. “The future of the fishing industry is based on sustainable use and proper management of our public lands and waters,” notes Phil Morlock, Vice President for Government Affairs/Advocacy at Shimano. “We hope our scholarship program helps recruits these students – who already enjoy fishing and understand the importance of conservation efforts through their involvement with B.A.S.S. to pursue a college degree in natural resource professions.”

Shimano Varsity
B.A.S.S. Elite pros Bret Preuett and Jonathon VanDam talk about their fishing careers to the more than 200 high school and college anglers – and many of their parents – at a special reception to announce Shimano’s ‘Varsity’ program scholarships following Saturday’s weigh-in at the Bassmaster Classic in Houston. The evening featured speakers including YouTube fishing video sensation Jon B, Bethel University fishing team coach Gary Mason, TV fishing personality JP DeRose from ‘Breaking Boundries’ on WFN, and Shimano youth fishing coordinator Frank Hyla.

A specially selected panel, including Shimano’s Morlock, B.A.S.S. Conservation Director Gene Gilliland, and Chris Horton with the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation, will determine the scholarship winners. Application forms – with an May 15 deadline – are available to high school seniors in both the U.S. and Canada, and can be found on the Shimano Varsity program web site at http://varsity.shimano.com. Winners will be notified by early June, with a special announcement planned at the B.A.S.S. 2017 High School Championship in Paris Landing, Tenn.

Shimano Varsity
Along with putting away a couple hundred pounds of great brisket, chicken and sausage, just a deep fly ball away from Houston’s Minute Maid Park, the high school and college age anglers attending the special Shimano reception also plenty of time to try out some new tackle. The Shimano SET crew took over the Jackson Street BBQ parking lot and turned it into practice casting lanes.




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Chris Payne

A lifelong Texan, Chris Payne has been an outdoor enthusiast his entire life and has spent the last 15 years fishing mainly from a kayak. He is known for his thorough and helpful reviews as well as how to articles for nearly everything kayak fishing related. If you have questions or comments, you can leave them on this post or email Chris at: paynefish@gmail.com

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