The event, featuring the country’s best high school anglers, will be held in conjunction with the Forrest Wood Cup on Aug. 15-17. The nearly 100 prep anglers will compete on Caddo Lake over three days in two different age groups. The field will include both an 11 to 14 and a 15 to 18 age division with one member of both age groups fishing with an adult boat operator.
“We’re very excited about bringing this event to Shreveport and Bossier City,” Cartlidge said. “The synergy of holding this event in conjunction with the Forrest Wood Cup has been a good deal. These kids get to walk across the stage in front of a big audience with the pros.”
There are 47 TBF state chapters in the country and a pair of youth qualifies for the championship from each state.
“Typically, we have 85 to 90 youth who attend this event,” Cartlidge said.
The anglers will be fishing for scholarship money, prizes and product provided by the sponsors. Six winners in each division will be awarded some type of scholarship with the winners getting a $3,000 scholarship.
The qualification process varies by state. Some states have an entire trail that must be traversed, while others send the winner of a single tournament. The state federations pay the travel expenses of the competing anglers who advance to nationals, while TBF officials pay for lodging costs and the food for the competitors.
Cartlidge said his organization will be seeking volunteer local boat operators to take the high school anglers on the water. Those individuals will be paid $100 per day. Each angler gets a chance to fish out of the front of the boat and operate the trolling motor for half the day. Only the adult will run the large motor.
The entire field will compete on Thursday and Friday, but will be trimmed to six anglers on each side for Saturday’s finale. The weights will be zeroed.
The Forrest Wood Cup will be held on the Red River in Shreveport-Bossier on Aug. 15-18 after being held on Lake Lanier in Duluth, Georgia, this summer. The FLW Outdoors’ event features the top 35 pro anglers from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour competing for as much as $500,000, while co-anglers compete for as much as $50,000.
The Red River South Marina will be the official launch site and CenturyLink Center will serve as the weigh-in site. In addition to the fishing action, the Forrest Wood Cup Expo, featuring more than 150 vendors, will be held at the Shreveport Convention Center.
“The FLW always enjoys coming to the Shreveport-Bossier area and building on that relationship, we were able to secure their biggest annual event,” said Kelly Wells, vice president of sports and tourism marketing for the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. “The entire FLW staff is top-notch to work with and they care about our community and how their event impacts the area. We knew going into negotiations that these events needed to be a fit for both sides, and we feel we were able to achieve that.”