Fishing for Scholarships: Ark-La-Tex Bassmaster Millwood Tournament


Jason Townsend and his group of Bassmasters are hosting a huge tournament with scholarship prizes for students this upcoming weekend. “We are expecting upwards of 60+ boats, and more than 120 kids at this tournament. We will be giving away scholarship money to high school seniors and juniors on Sunday after the weigh-in. However, students and children of all ages are welcome to participate,” said Jason Townsend, founder of the Ark-La-Tex Bassmasters.

Jason, who created this program after seeing a need for it in our area, has been working diligently with the students at Genoa High School, as well as others in our area to bring organized fishing to the Texarkana area. “When this tournament started just three years ago, we only had twenty teams enter. Now we are expecting so many more. It’s just continuing to grow, and we are excited that we are able to bring these local opportunities to our students, who before weren’t able to travel for these events,” said Townsend.

Students Greyson Wooten and Nick Corn 1st Place Winners Celebration

Jason and his students went to the National Tournament back in late July- early August, and placed 127 out of 309 teams. “We actually did really well for our team. Out of a field of 309 teams, there were about 1,000 people there with anglers and captains. I’m proud of the kiddos who earned that opportunity, and I’m excited to continue to bring these opportunities to our students in the area. We also have a team from the Texarkana area that will be attending the Junior National Championship in October. These events that we hold at our local lakes, where anyone is welcome to participate, are a great way for our students to continue to practice and build confidence in what they love to do, ” said Townsend.

“We have a lot of students who try out for us, and who want to work hard and earn scholarship opportunities to better their futures. I have always been inspired by Clay Dyer, a fisherman who has no arms and legs. I always tell my students when they get frustrated, or who feel like they can’t keep doing this, to look up Clay, and to see that if he can do this, the opportunities for them could be endless,” said Townsend. With the Bassmasters Platform that Townsend has brought to the area, he has encouraged children of all ages to come out and compete. By allowing children of all ages to compete, the tournament’s size has continued to grow, and teams from all over the local area, including some from Oklahoma, are beginning to jump on board.

“Anyone that is in school, or kids from all ages are welcome to participate. All they have to do is enter the competition and show up on competition day,” said Townsend. The tournament this weekend is set to start at safe light on Sunday Morning- 3PM. By bringing our community of young fishers together, Townsend has provided them with opportunities to practice and shine. “There are five major tournaments held throughout the year, and the highest placed kids get to go to state and national championships for a chance to earn scholarship money. When you get to the state and national level tournaments, the scholarship money for winners increases to about $100,000 for first place. Colleges such as Bryan Christian College in Tennessee have offered winners over $88,000 in scholarship prizes as well. These scholarships are just another incredible way that our students can be supported for doing something they love at a higher level,” said Townsend.

To register for this Sunday’s event, you can click on the Ark-La-Tex Bassmaster Facebook link here. Good luck to all the teams entered for this weekend’s tournament!

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