Douglass High School Fishing Team making big splash at tournamen - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Douglass High School Fishing Team making big splash at tournaments

The Douglass High School Fishing Team is using their Christmas break practicing for upcoming tournaments that could qualify them for B.A.S.S. Nationals for the third year in a row.  (Source: KTRE Staff) The Douglass High School Fishing Team is using their Christmas break practicing for upcoming tournaments that could qualify them for B.A.S.S. Nationals for the third year in a row. (Source: KTRE Staff)
President Joseph Bruener sorts through thousands of dollars of fishing equipment. Luckily, some of it is provided by trade sponsors. (Source: KTRE Staff) President Joseph Bruener sorts through thousands of dollars of fishing equipment. Luckily, some of it is provided by trade sponsors. (Source: KTRE Staff)
The team is raising money to make costly trips to tournaments. School sponsorship gets them excused time off, but fundraising is left to members and parents.  (Source: KTRE Staff) The team is raising money to make costly trips to tournaments. School sponsorship gets them excused time off, but fundraising is left to members and parents. (Source: KTRE Staff)
DOUGLASS, TX (KTRE) -

Football, baseball and basketball have made their mark at high schools just about everywhere.

On their heels are fishing teams, but they just don't seem to get the same notice as the bigger sports. The Douglass Fishing Team, a small town group that's making a splash at the angler tournaments.

When in search for the Douglass High School Fishing Team, start looking on a lake. It's the practice field for anglers.

"This takes a lot of time and effort and most people, what, want to go out for a couple of hours, and usually, you're on the water for 10 hours for practice and then 8 hours tournament,” said Joseph Bruener, the president of the Douglass High School Fishing Team.

The team was formed only two years ago, and each year, it has won B.A.S.S. Texas State Championships followed by trips to B.A.S.S. Nationals. They don't want 2016 to be any different. After all, a national win is always a possibility.  

"The chances, they're few and far between,” said Kyle Mach, a 16-year-old member of the Douglass High School Fishing Team. “There's a bunch of teams out there that fish with us so we're competing against a bunch of great anglers."

But don't underestimate this small East Texas team. Fourteen-year-old Jacob Bruener set a lake record in Kentucky on Caroll County lake with an 11.4 pound bass. Jacob now has a $20,000 scholarship and a fish story for life.

"We saw the mouth on it, and we went crazy,” Jacob Bruener said. “Once I got it up, we netted it, got it in the boat. Everyone in the town could have heard us yelling. It was a great experience."

Austin Brewer was his fishing partner whose bait of choice is a plastic worm.

"When I throw it down, I let it sink, and then I bump it up and down, reel in, just keep it going up and down,” said Austin Brewer,a 13-year-old member of the Douglass High School Fishing Team.

Fishing teams take time and money. Ask B.A.S.S State Youth Director Peter Bruener.

"At least $500 for a three day weekend, said Peter Bruener, who is also a boat captain.

The trip to nationals more like $3,000. Luckily, generous sponsors help out with equipment and bait.

"There's probably $5,000 worth of gear setting on that deck right now on that boat,” Peter Bruener said.

School affiliation gives the team excused time off, but not much more.

"We've done barbeques and raffles,” Bruener said. “The community has been a big help for us here in Douglass."

Fundraising is underway for the state championship in January and hopefully the nationals. Intense practice is ahead. Good thing for them a good day of fishing is …

"Any day you're on the water,” Jacob Bruener said.

Team fishing is a growing sport among high schools statewide.

There are more than a thousand teens just in the Texas B.A.S.S. youth organization.

To visit the Douglass High School Fishing Team's Facebook page, visit this link. Click this link for the Bassmaster Website.

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