The New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association held its pilot bass fishing tournament on Friday on Lake Winnipesaukee, an event held as an experiment to see if New Hampshire should join the growing number of states that include competitive fishing among its high school sports teams. For McCollum, as well as Laconia High School's first-ever fishing team of freshman Griffin Nyhan and sophomore Rose Therrien, the only regrettable part of the experience is that there isn't another event on the schedule, yet.
"This is a lifelong, healthy leisure activity. This is something people can learn as kids and do until they're done living," said McCollum, making the case for including fishing in high school athletics. "And we live in the Lakes Region. This is an activity that benefits children."
Laconia was one of 54 teams, from 41 different high schools, that participated in the pilot fishing tournament, which was held in Moultonborough Bay on Friday morning. Each team consisted of two students and one guide. Therrien and Nyhan's guide was Terry Tilly, who donated her expertise, time and use of her boat so that Laconia could field a team.
Both Nyan and Therrien learned to fish as soon as they were old enough to grasp a rod. For Nyhan, his favorite thing about fishing is "the thrill of catching the fish, doing what it takes to fool a fish."
Therrien likes the experience of fishing. "I like being away from all the weirdos out here. It's really calm, you can relax and just breathe. It's so serene."
Therrien and Nyhan each play on multiple sports teams for their high school. They found that competitive fishing was different from conventional athletic events, and that adding the element of competition changed the feeling of being on the lake with a fishing pole in hand.
"At first, it was kind of nerve-wracking, you're in your first bass tournament. Then you get into it and start having fun," said Nyhan.
Therrien said it was a strange experience for her. She knew she was in direct competition with other teams, as in a soccer match or softball game. Unlike other sports, though, she couldn't even see her competitors until everyone converged for weigh-in. The air of competition made her more anxious about landing her first fish. And when she did pull in her first bass, "It was rewarding," she said, "until I realized that it was smaller than all of Griffin's fish."
Teams competed on the basis of the largest bass caught, as well as the overall weight of the four-fish limit. Laconia's catch featured a 2 pound smallmouth and weighed 7.4 pounds overall, good enough for a finish in the middle of the pack. A team from Exeter High School took first place.
One unique feature of fishing is that it comes with a healthy marine biology lesson. Therrien and Nyhan learned that, at certain water temperatures at certain times of the year, smallmouth bass will sit on their beds, aggressively defending their territory. As Nyhan said, "When the smallmouth is in its bed, if anything lands on their bed, they're going to whack it."
Her first bass fishing tournament behind her, Therrien imagined ways to expand the sport throughout the year. "I think we should get ice fishing – that would be awesome," she said, adding, "I hope we do it next year. I want it to be back."
Last Updated on Monday, 13 May 2013 10:12
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 May 2013 11:55
The team suffered its first loss of the season at Littleton on Tuesday, a 5-4 decision. The top three singles matches went to Gilford – earned by Cheralynn Corsack, Panner and Emily Hanf, the only other point for Gilford was won by the top doubles team.
On Wednesday, at Inter-Lakes, Gilford improved to 10 wins, one loss, after a 9-0 win.
Gilford was scheduled to host Bow yesterday evening.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 May 2013 11:54
Gilford used an 18 hit attack, including 6 doubles, led by Lisa Osborne who went 5/5 with 1 double and 7 RBIs, Abby Harris 4/4 with 1 double and 2 RBIs, Sydney Strout 2/4 with 2 doubles and 3 RBIs, Mikaela Mattice 2/2 with 1 double and 3 RBIs and Paige Laliberte with 1 double. Other Gilford players to contribute to the offense with a hit apiece were Sarah Lachapelle, Kelsey Buckley, Hannah Chase and Caitlin Houston.
Gilford scored 2 runs in the 1st inning when Sydney Strout hit a double, was replaced on the bases by courtesy runner Kristina Hayden who scored on a Lisa Osborne double. Osborne scored on a wild pitch. Gilford scored 5 more in the 2nd highlighted by Abby Harris' one run double, Mikaela Mattice's one run double and Kelsey Buckley's 1 run single. Gilford then exploded for 12 runs in the 3rd inning highlighted by Lisa Osborne's 2 singles and 4 RBIs, Abby Harris' 2 singles and 1 RBI, Paige Laliberte's 2 run double, and Mikaela Mattice's 1 run single. In the 4th inning Gilford added 3 more runs on a Sydney Strout 1 run double and a Lisa Osborne 2 run single.
Sydney Strout was the winning pitcher and finished with 8 strikeouts, gave up 3 hits and walked one.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 May 2013 11:53
- A loss & a win for Belmont girls' lacrosse
- GHS boys' tennis team two wins away from perfect season
- Double bill: Gilford's Corsack & Panner just want to win & have fun
- Inter-Lakes track team members continue to improve
- Belmont Edges Hollis-Brookline 9-7 to remain undefeated
- Gilford Boys Tennis Team stands at 9-0 on season