SOUTH HERO — Fifteen high schools hit Lake Champlain on Saturday in Vermont’s inaugural bass fishing competition, won by an Essex H.S. team.

Making its debut in Vermont high schools as an exhibition sport this year and next, fishing could then become a Vermont Principals’ Association-sanctioned varsity sport. On Saturday, from the Guilmette Access Area, more than 75 students took part in the first tournament.

With all the help and support of numerous organizations including the VPA, VSADA, Apple Island Marina, Champlain Bass Series, Vermont Sports Images, and Vermont Fish and Wildlife that the first ever VPA Bass Fishing Competition was a total success.

The work of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife was also essential. From assisting with the planning phases, the permitting process and the incredible help at the weigh in ensuring that the “catch of the day” were handled with the utmost care and returned to the lake as quickly as possible.

An Essex duo brought in 19.18 pounds to take first place, with a pair of Colchester H.S. two-person teams taking second and third.

A state tournament will be held at the same location on Saturday, Oct. 9.

Photos by Kyle St. Peter for CVNG (results below)

Bass fishing results – Saturday, Sept. 15

    School                             Weight (lbs)

1   Essex 2                                     19.19
2   Colchester 2                            18.71
3   Colchester 1                             18.37
4   Twinfield                                  17.52
5   Hartford 1                                15.50
6   Randolph 2                              13.98
7   Randolph 1                               11.67
8   Woodstock 2                            11.29
9   Windsor 1                                 10.45
10  Fair Haven 2                             9.87
11  S. Burlington 2                          9.69
12  S. Burlington 1                          9.00
13  Mt. Abraham 1                          8.37
14  Burr & Burton 2                       7.08
15  Burr & Burton 1                        6.55
16  Champlain Valley                    6.29
17  North Country 2                       6.09
18  White River Valley                   5.96
19  North Country 1                        5.69
20  Woodstock 1                             5.47
21  Fair Haven 1                              5.05
22  Mt. Abraham 2                         5.00
23  Essex 1                                        3.40
24  Milton1                                       3.36
25  Windsor 2                                  2.00
26  Milton 2                                     0.00