Fisherman reels in recognition
Diehl, partner hook their way into regional tournament.
If school didn’t get in the way, Adam Diehl would be swimming a jig every day.
The Brady sophomore has been fishing for as long as he can remember, learning to cast and reel as soon as he was big enough to hold a pole.Diehl hopes to make his favorite pastime pay off this month when he competes in the FLW Outdoors/TBF High School Fishing Regional Championship at Lake Somerville in Texas.
“I don’t know that there’s any skill involved,” Diehl said of catching fish. “I think it’s pretty much all luck.”
If that’s the case, Diehl had plenty of luck when he and his partner, Drew Bailey of North Platte, won the Student Angler Federation Nebraska High School State Fishing Championship at Maranatha Lake near Maxwell last month.
Diehl and Bailey had never fished together before. They were paired randomly from the 11 members of the Lincoln County Bass Bosses, a new fishing club for high school students.
The pair caught their five-fish limit in the state tournament. Diehl put four bass in the boat and Bailey caught one.
Together the duo’s fish weighed 11.0 pounds, almost 2 pounds more than the second-place finishers.
Diehl also managed the biggest bass of the day, a largemouth weighing 3.84 pounds.
“I pretty much taught myself how to fish,” Diehl said. “I’ve read a lot of magazine articles.”
He also records and watches several fishing shows from outdoor channels on television.
Diehl said he caught all of his bass at Maranatha by swimming a jig. It’s a lure with a lead head, a weed guard and a silicone tail.
Rather than dragging the bottom of the lake or skipping the lure across the top of the water, Diehl said he reels straight up to simulate a swimming motion.
“I guess it worked,” he said.
By winning the state tournament, Diehl and Bailey earned some free tackle and jerseys they’ll wear while competing in the regional event at Lake Somerville, just outside College Station, TX.
“I’ve never been to Texas,” Diehl said. “It should be fun.”
The tournament on Oct. 15 is hosted by Texas A&M University in conjunction with a National Guard FLW College Fishing Regional Championship.
Kent Priel of North Platte, a professional fisherman since 1995, will serve as Diehl and Bailey’s boat captain.
Should the pair win the regional tournament, they’ll advance to the national event in the spring, competing for scholarship money.
Diehl has aspirations of becoming a professional fisherman.
“It would be pretty cool to catch fish and get paid for it,” he said.
Diehl is the son of Lisa and Ken Diehl of Brady.