F3 Student Wins Crappie Masters
Bass Pro Shops' Cappie Masters Tournament Trail recently held its first Youth National Championship at Truman Lake, Missouri, and Tyler Zimmerman of Kansas City, Missouri, representing the Future Fisherman Foundation (F3), was winner of the 13- to 15-year age group. Tyler was just one of the youth anglers fishing for numerous prizes, including a $4,000 scholarship provided by Crappie Masters and its sponsors.
Last August, the Foundation was invited to select a student from one of its angling education programs to enter the tournament. Teachers from Missouri trained by F3 to implement angling education programs were invited to participate in this exciting event. Bob Dever, educator from Gracemor School in Kansas City, was enthusiastic about helping find the best angler to represent F3 at the tournament. He selected Tyler because Tyler was an enthusiastic student who passed his angling course with flying colors. Tyler's two siblings also are involved in the Gracemor fishing program and attended the tournament to cheer on their brother.
"Tyler's parents have been volunteering to assist with our school fishing trips for several years now," said Dever. "They take angling education one step further by taking their children fishing on weekends to help them practice what they've learned in class." Needless to say, each one of the Zimmerman kids has developed a love of fishing and respect for the environment.
Tyler was selected to fish with pro anglers Ronnie Capps and Steve Coleman who helped Tyler with the special techniques used to catch crappie. Tyler weighed in five fish totaling 4.57 pounds to win his age division and receive a trophy and $4,000 college scholarship. Crappie Masters owners Paul Alpers, Bobby Brown and John Mason presented his awards.
"This weekend was so good for Tyler and our family as a whole," said Tyler's mother Elizabeth. "We had an opportunity to meet the pros at Friday's banquet, fished on Saturday in the kid's derby, and then cheered on Tyler at the youth tournament Sunday. We'll remember this trip for a lifetime, and now Tyler has a nice scholarship that will help him get a great start in college."
The Foundation thanks long-time partners Crappie Masters and Bass Pro Shops for including F3 anglers in their tournament this year. All the youths who participated brought home fond memories of fishing on Truman Lake and look forward to the possibility of fishing in next year's tournament.
Established in 1986, the Future Fisherman Foundation unites the sportfishing industry and a nationwide network of state outdoor educators, national conservation groups and youth organizations dedicated to introducing America's youth to angling and the outdoors. These efforts help people of all ages have safe and enjoyable fishing experiences that foster conservation ethics. Visit www.futurefisherman.org.