Fishing & Boating News

Fort Pierce Central High School Wins Florida State Championship On Lake Toho

by: Mark Gintert, TBF Youth Director,

Florida Champions
Big Bass Winner
(Mar 10, 2016 - Kissimmee, FL.)

The Fort Pierce Central High School duo of Griffin White and Kyle Vericella brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces, to win the 2016 TBF/FLW High School Fishing Florida State Championship on Lake Toho. The win earned the team trophies, the title of state champions and advanced the team to the High School Fishing Southeastern Conference championship on Lake Cumberland in Somerset, Kentucky on September 16-17.
Forty-five teams competed in the event, which launched from Kissimmee Lakefront Park. The winning squad from Fort Pierce said that they punched through weed mats with a Dirty Jig topped with a Carolina Craw-colored trailer to catch the majority of their fish. The bulk of their fish came from one location in the afternoon as the sun warmed and brought the fish to the edge of the weed lines.

The top four teams on Lake Toho that advanced to the Southeastern Conference championship were:

  1st:       Fort Pierce Central High School, Fort Pierce, Fla. – Griffin White and Kyle Vericella, five bass, 22-6
  2nd:      Seminole Junior Anglers Bass Club – Ian Rife, Altimonte Springs, Fla., and Jacob Rosser, Oveido, Fla., five bass, 18-2
  3rd:       St. Johns County High School, St. Johns, Fla. – Blake Mardant and Dawson Wiles, five bass, 15-12
  4th:       St. Johns County High School, St. Johns, Fla. – Chandler Mills and Daniel Cheung, both of Jacksonville, Fla., five bass, 11-11

Rounding out the top 10 teams were:
  5th:       Citrus High School, Inverness, Fla. – Beau Zuppinger, Inverness, Fla., and Liam O’Neill, Beverly Hills, Fla., five bass, 11-7
  6th:       Osceola High School, Kissimmee, Fla.  – Stephen Soileau and Logan Parisciani, five bass, 11-3
  7th:       Pasco High School, Dade City, Fla. – Javier Rodriguez, San Antonio, Fla., and Taylor Messer, Dade City, Fla., five bass, 10-9
  8th:       Bartow High School, Bartow, Fla. – Jacob Adrian and Trent Coleman, five bass, 10-6
  8th:       Marion County High Schools – Jonathan Day and Chase Davis, both of Ocala, Fla., five bass, 10-6
  10th:     West Nassau High School, Callahan, Fla. – Colby Cowart, Callahan, Fla., and Cody Hadden, Hilliard, Fla., four bass, 10-4

The 2016 Florida State High School Fishing Championship was a two-person (team) event for students in grades 7-12. The top 10 percent from each TBF/FLW state championship field will advance to a High School Fishing conference championship along with the top three teams from each of the seven TBF/FLW High School Fishing Opens held this season. The top 10 percent of each conference championship field will then advance to the High School Fishing National Championship, coinciding with the TBF National Championship and an FLW Tour stop in the spring of 2017. The High School Fishing national champions will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship to the school of their choice.

In addition to the High School Fishing National Championship, all High School Fishing anglers nationwide automatically qualify for the world’s largest high school bass tournament, the 2016 High School Fishing World Finals. At the 2015 World Finals more than $20,000 in scholarships and prizes were awarded.

About FLW
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.

About The Bass Federation
The Bass Federation Inc., (TBF) is a member of the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. TBF is owned by those we serve and dedicated to the sport of fishing. The Federation is the largest and oldest, organized grassroots fishing, youth and conservation organization there is. TBF, our affiliated state federations and their member clubs conduct more than 20,000 events each year and have provided a foundation for the entire bass fishing industry for more than 45 years. TBF founded the Student Angler Federation and the National High School Fishing program in 2007 to promote clean family fun and education through fishing.

Tournament Runners-Up
Qualifiers for Florida Tournament