Lund Boats is partnering with the Student Angler Organization and the Student Angler Tournament Trail in an effort to bring new people to the sport.
The fishing industry is enjoying a resurgence, with an infusion of young anglers across North America, Brunswick-owned Lund said.
Very similar to the youth movement in trapshooting, which has seen a rapid growth of high school trapshooting teams, high school fishing teams are springing up, the company said.
The company said Minnesota has had exponential growth in the number of schools starting fishing teams, and with the growth comes a need for more events and tournaments for young anglers.
In 2018 there will be five regional tournaments and a Tournament of Champions event at the end of the season.
Lund started a concerted effort last year by supporting a few teams and working with their coaches, but wanted to increase its efforts. The rapid growth requires support, which is why Lund is stepping up with additional resources.
"In order to properly support this program and these efforts, we felt we really needed some additional resources, which is why I'm excited to announce the partnership with the SAO and the addition of Jimmy Bell as a resource to help nurture and grow this program for us," said Lund marketing director Jason Oakes in a statement. "An opportunity to grow our sport and expose thousands of young anglers to fishing doesn't come along very often, and it is why we are so proud to be a part of this journey."
"With over 25 years as a multispecies professional angler, Jimmy Bell is driven by sharing his life experiences with those around him,” Oakes said.
Bell has Angler of the Year and Professional Rookie of the Year titles and three tournament wins at the national level.
“As president of the National Professional Anglers Association, his passion is helping others succeed as professional anglers and growing the sport we all love,” Oakes said. “With Jimmy's deep passion for student angling it's fitting that he would be one of the founders for the SAO and SATT.”
"Having an opportunity to work with an industry leader like Lund Boats has always been on my bucket list," Bell said. "With Lund's commitment to student angling, and my passion for the same, it gives us an opportunity to truly grow the sport we love. Lund has always created the ultimate fishing experience, and now they are committing to the ultimate support of the student anglers. I cannot be more excited to be a part of such a great organization that has the same values and integrity that my family and I continue to live by."