Finally, an after-school activity geared for the outdoors. The Illinois High School Association approved bass fishing as a sanctioned sport. The state expects 100 schools to participate in a spring tournament in 2009, and teams have until November 1 to sign up. I like this idea because it solves a couple of problems: First, it offers an additional way to get out of the classroom without having to be a super-athlete. Second, it gets people outside! From the sounds of it, many thought the idea of competition fishing would never fly in Illinois. But, according to this story in the Chicago Tribune, nearly 60 schools throughout the state have organized teams, and at one school meeting nearly 50 people showed interest in the program. I think it’s just further proof that young people are hungry for an outdoors experience—they just need the connection (like this fishing program) to get them there. What do you guys think about high school bass fishing? Anyone else have programs like this at their school? —Ben