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Up North: Grand Rapids Student Angler Team Hooks Another Win to Close Out Tournament Season

Created: September 17, 2019 10:46 PM

Lake Pokegama was buzzing over the weekend as student anglers competed in their final competition among the Student Angler Tournament Trail (SATT).

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"These fish are sitting up in the coontail so we're flipping half ounce to ¾ ounce weights and then a Texas rig," explained Grand Rapids senior Cole Reiser on his teams fishing method.

Among the 64 teams participating, Reiser and his boat partner Noah Grotjohn were part of an even larger Grand Rapids team. As a part of the True Team Challenge, each school could enter three boats to fish together for two days collecting their top 15 biggest fish each day.

"We had a game plan, our three teams – me and him were supposed to fish main lake large mouth," explained Grotjohn about he and Reiser's plan. "Another team was supposed to fish main lake small mouth, and another team was supposed to go up the river," he added.

Usually each two-person team competes against one another, but anglers seemed to like this type of catch and release bass tournament format.

"The best part of it is probably that you get to work with your whole entire team and are able to share information. You don't have to hide anything from anyone. You're all working together to try and win this," explained Reiser.

Plus, the team didn't mind competing with other school on their hometown lake.

"We know a lot about it and it's fun to be somewhere where you know you can catch fish and you can have some confidence," said sophomore Jack Cleveland.

However, it should come as a surprise that by the end of day 1 of the tournament, the Thunderhawks were leading by a larger margin. This comes just weeks after they had two teams win two different championships.

"We got to go to Kentucky this year for place second last year in the state tournament," said sophomore Zach Wilke.

"Our boys all the way down to the youngest and smallest are very dedicated and very hard workers at this," added Grand Rapids coach Stephen Picht.

Currently around 150 schools in Minnesota have fishing teams, but after seeing the success of recreational sports like archery and trap shooting take off, they hope other get hooked because these kids love it.

"For the first time in the history of fishing we have the opportunity to not only get a new generation fishing, we have the opportunity to regain a generation lost," said Picht.

"That's all I do is fish anyway, so I really couldn't ask for anything better," Cleveland added about participating in the sport.

To learn more about the sports visit Student Angler Tournament Trail Presented by Lund & Rapala.

To learn more about the Grand Rapids Team visit Grand Rapids ThunderHawks High School Fishing Team.

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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