High school fishing championship being broadcast live

Cameron Smith

The revolution will televised.

OK, maybe "revolution" is a bit strong. Perhaps "the future of fishing" is a more apt description of what will be transmitted across internet airwaves between July 20-23, when the 2011 High School Fishing World Finals will be shown live from Russellville, Arkansas.

2011 High School Fishing championships banner

There are probably two things that strike you as odd in that last paragraph. Let's see if Prep Rally can help answer them in due course:

Q: "There are high school fishing championships?"

A: Yes, evidently there are.

Q: "And people are really going to watch high school kids tool around in boats trying to land a big fish?"

A: That's an excellent question, and it's likely no one knows the answer to it yet.

Arkansas high school fishermen

While it remains to be seen if eyeballs will follow the discursive wakes left by boats of scholastic fishermen at Dardanelle State Park, at least one network -- iHigh -- was convinced enough tech savvy fishing fans (oxymoron?) would tune in online to make broadcasting the event a worthwhile enterprise.

Naturally, there is a certain pageantry to the conclusion of all fishing events. The annual Bassmaster Classic weigh in tends to take on the air of a cross between a NASCAR race and Miss America pageant, with more glitter and a plethora of large fish. It seems likely that iHigh is counting on similar flocking to the net for the final stages of the High School World Finals, even if that might seem like a lot to ask.

Regardless, the event (practice rounds are already underway in Arkansas) is a fascinating one with a good purpose. Competitors at the World Finals are racing to land fish as a way to earn a scholarship. It's a simple and exciting formula: Win the World Finals, you win a bunch of scholarship money.

Naturally, that's something you don't see in high school football or basketball, even if those sports are broadcast on television and online significantly more than any other. Then again, depending on how this year's iHigh coverage of the High School World Finals goes, that might not be the case in the future. After all, you never know.

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