High school fishing tournament coming to Selma in October

Published 10:25 pm Monday, September 8, 2014

A fishing tournament coming to Selma in late October will give high school students a chance to compete in a sport they enjoy, while also earning scholarship money.

The Airport Marine High School Team Trail will visit Selma for the first time on Oct. 25, holding its tournament at the Selma City Landing.

The tournament allows students from sixth to twelfth grade to fish together on teams, as long as they are observed by a captain of 21 years or older.

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“Our [tournaments] are completely 100 percent for the children,” said tournament director Flynn Gerald.  “A team in our tournament is two kids and a captain. Kids can be from high school, home school, private school — it doesn’t make any difference.”

Fisherman also do not have to be from the same school in order to compete together on a team.

The trail is in its second year, and Gerald said it is excited to be coming to Selma.

“Selma is a great fishery,” Gerald said. “It’s a river and it’s easy to fish. The launch we are going to there is plenty of room. We have plenty of room to launch and the people there are exceptionally nice to us and these kids can catch fish down there. They want to go where they can catch fish.”

Selma recreation department director Elton Reece said the tournament trail, although still relatively new, is an exciting get for the city. He expects local students to sign up but he also expects many to come from out of town.

“When people come here to fish, they are going to spend money,” Reece said. “It gets our name out there. We have high school people that have never been here before. It may have 20 boats and it may have 100 boats.”

Reece said all Gerald asked for was $500 in operating money and a couple of hotel rooms, which he said is not even comparable to the demands most fishing tournaments require to come to Selma.

“This is for the kids,” Gerald said. “It’s strictly for the kids.”

Each tournament $3,500 in scholarship money is given away.

First place wins $1,000, another $1000 is given to the highest finisher with a permanent Airport Marine logo on their shirt and $1,000 is given to the school the team represents. The captain is also awarded $500 if in a qualified boat or a $500 gift certificate toward a new boat.  The cost to sign up is $40 per person. To compete in the big fish competition, which is optional, it is an extra $10.

Rules and regulations for the tournament can be found on the Airport Marine Tournament Trail website, which is www.airportmarinetrails.com. For more information on the tournament, visit the website or call (205) 664-0407.